A look at the Sacred Heart Food Ambassador Program

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Sacred Heart students with their donations of cereal and pasta. Katie McCabe ’18

Convent of the Sacred Heart Upper School students launched new service initiatives this fall in an effort to tackle social justice issues in Fairfield and Westchester counties.

As the new Director of Upper School Social Justice and Service, Sacred Heart Upper School Theology teacher Mrs. Kerry Bader is helping Sacred Heart students take a more holistic approach to their community service. 

Sacred Heart students with their donations of cereal and pasta. Katie McCabe ’18

Upper School students participated in a food drive for Caritas, a food pantry and community dining room in Port Chester, New York, September 23. Instead of a monetary contribution, students donated different food items depending on their grade. The freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes brought in rice, pasta, canned tuna, and cereal, respectively.

Through participating in the food drive, students worked to combat the issue of food insecurity within nearby communities.  

“I was excited to help run the food drive, because I believe that no one should be hungry, especially children, when food is so plentiful. Although the food drive is not a permanent solution for feeding the hungry, it is still gratifying to help people who are either homeless or food insecure have a couple of days to focus on things other than food,” senior Stephanie Comer said. 

In total, the Sacred Heart community donated 273 pounds of rice, 87 boxes of pasta, 69 boxes of cereal, and 105 cans of tuna, according to Executive Director Emeritus of Caritas, Deacon William Vaccaro. The rice will serve 3,000 people, the pasta will provide 87 meals for families of four to six, the cereal will fill 650 bowls, and the canned tuna will supplement 250 to 300 lunches. 

Sophomores Karina Badey, Olivia Teklits, Maddie Jenkins, Ella Holl donated boxes of pasta to Caritas. Katie McCabe ’18

In conjunction with the food drive, Mrs. Bader is launching the Food Ambassador program. Its mission is to connect other local high schools with supermarkets and food pantries in Fairfield and Westchester counties. Through this opportunity, Sacred Heart hopes to facilitate a relationship between the Acme Market supermarket in Greenwich and Caritas.

Often, damaged goods, such as dented cans, are unsellable in supermarkets. However, these items are salvageable and food pantries can use these products to restock their shelves. Donations from supermarkets allow food pantries to save money that they would have otherwise spent on non-perishable goods, such as rice. This allows them to purchase fresh produce instead.

The Sacred Heart Food Ambassador program will consist of nine student-led subcommittees. These committees are composed of 72 Upper School students who will organize public relations, transportation, awareness of hunger, and logistics.

“We plan on taking a prudent, thoughtful approach to developing the program, so that we can really be a tool to ease the pain of hunger,” Mrs. Bader said.