DRACUT — The shelves at the Dracut Food Pantry are stocked for at least another month, thanks to Dracut High School students who filled five vans with boxes and bags of food, paper products and toiletries last week.
“We were hoping for a truckload. We got five,” exclaimed Debbie Hovanasian, a Dracut Food Pantry committee member. “Imagine what this looked like to a committee that was concerned about filling the shelves.”
More than 60 people were serviced by the food pantry last month, leaving very little stock remaining.
“We heard about the need and the idea was presented to organize a food drive,” said Sharon Tully, who chairs the English Department. “But with only a week until February vacation, we had to act fast.”
The word went out and food and other items came pouring in. On Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, about two-dozen students at the high school transported the items, which filled the cafeteria, into the vans. After the first van was filled, it was obvious that backup would be needed. Several more vehicles were brought down to the breezeway near the cafeteria door.
The goods were then taken to the food pantry, located a mile up the road in the rear of the Beaver Brook Village mills. Students, along with Tully and history teacher Mary Dennehy, followed in cars to help unload, sort and stock the shelves.
“It think it’s a learning experience for them,” Tully said. “A lot of times, you hear about a need and it seems like something way out there in a world we don’t know about. I think the kids, by doing this, begin to realize that these people could be their own neighbors.”
When they were done, many of the students asked if they could come back another time to help out.
“The whole experience was no less than phenomenal,” said Hovanasian. “It’s nice to get the news out there about the good our teens are doing.”