By Kevin Placide ’21
Once again, the students of Chaminade High School are giving back to the community. Managed by Mr. Brian Anselmo ’89 with the assistance of members from Junior GSO, the annual Lenten Food Drive will help families in need all over Long Island. Throughout this week, students have had the opportunity to donate any available non-perishable food items to the food drive. On top of their Lenten resolutions, this drive allows students to make a positive step forward in the Lenten theme of sacrifice. As Catholics in a Catholic school, we are expected to help the underprivileged at any opportunity we are offered. Bro. Stephen Balletta, S.M. ’74 describes the role of faith in the food drive similarly and said, “Taking our cue from Jesus, our faith compels us to be conscious of everyone in the community, particularly the least of our brothers and sisters, and of the common good.”
Many do not realize how big of an issue hunger is on Long Island. According to Mr. Anselmo, “There are approximately 100,000 children who don’t get enough food to eat each day. This doesn’t mean that they do not have any food, but rather that they don’t have enough for proper nourishment. Each and every time I go to the food pantries, they tell me that the situation is becoming more and more difficult for them, either having more people come in to the pantries for food or obtaining less donations.”
Last year, an estimated 5,000 pounds of food were donated by the Flyers. “This year, we are hoping to have at least that much, if not more,” Mr. Anselmo added. “From these donations, about 4,167 meals can be provided for the hungry.” The parishes of Corpus Christi Parish of Mineola, St. Brigid’s Parish of Westbury, and St. Ignatius of Loyola in Hicksville will use these donations for their food pantries and outreach programs. Moreover, although these donations may seem like a lot, they are rather miniscule in the grand scheme of things with all of the hungry people on Long Island.
Chaminade High School is committed to helping the community in many different ways, from teaching kids religious education to events like this food drive. With this year’s food drive and the many contributions from the student body, GSO, and Mr. Anselmo, the school will continue to build on its strong reputation in this category. The long tradition of donating to the community at Chaminade and in the Catholic faith continues to be a shining example of Lenten sacrifice.
Even though it may not seem like it, hunger is a real problem on Long Island. People close to us may even be struggling from this ongoing issue without our knowledge of it. After all, there are thousands of hungry families on Long Island who need our help. One can may not be a tremendous amount of food, but, if we get everyone to bring in at least a can or two, it adds up quickly. Through this food drive, the Chaminade Family is extending its helping hands to the community once again, following the Lenten theme of giving to others and sacrifice.