National Honor Society hosts food drive in nearby neighborhoods

NHS members went through Grey Oaks and Woodland Park neighborhoods to collect food donations for Thanksgiving

Donated+food+is+collected+from+a+donor%E2%80%99s+porch+by+NHS+member+senior+Tommy+Sellen+to+be+donated+to+the+Shawnee+Community+Services+Center%2C+where+food+collected+during+the+drive+will+be+distributed+to+community+members+in+need+of+food+for+Thanksgiving.%0A

By Evan Sherman

Donated food is collected from a donor’s porch by NHS member senior Tommy Sellen to be donated to the Shawnee Community Services Center, where food collected during the drive will be distributed to community members in need of food for Thanksgiving.

Aiden Burke, JagWire assistant editor

National Honor Society organized a food drive for the Shawnee Community Services Center on Tuesday, Nov. 17 and Thursday, Nov. 19. The food drive involved NHS members going around neighborhoods in Grey Oaks and Woodland Park to collect food donations that had been put out on porches by residents.

During a National Honors Society organized food drive, member junior Grace Emerson counted food collected through the drive on Thursday, Nov. 19. (By Evan Sherman)

The event was organized by senior Prathik Gadiraju with the help of his temple. Gadiraju said that the event was planned by distributing plastic bags with fliers attached to them to houses in the selected neighborhoods. By doing this, they were able to avoid face-to-face interaction to make the event safer for all parties involved.

“We got a bunch of plastic bags and put them on peoples’ doorknobs and picked them up a few days later,” Gadiraju said. “I knew that would be a good idea with COVID-19 so that there wouldn’t be a lot of interaction between people.”

The goal of the drive, according to Gadiraju, was to bring in donations for less fortunate families so that they could have a more enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday.

“The goal was to provide food for families for Thanksgiving,” Gadiraju said. “Knowing that you need a lot of food for Thanksgiving, we wanted to raise food to donate as much food as we could for this holiday.”

Senior Adam White, also a member of NHS who participated in the drive, echoed this sentiment. White claimed that any amount of donations would be significant in helping any families who might otherwise not be able to afford it.

“The goal was to raise as many donations as we could for hungry families across the area,” White said. “Any amount that we can gather is important for people being able to have food.”

NHS members assisted in sorting the goods into boxes. (By Anna Owsley)

Gadiraju believes that the food drive was largely successful in its goal, so successful that they had to go pick up more cardboard boxes during the drive to store all of the donations. Given the little time that was spent in preparation for the event, it exceeded Gadiraju’s expectations.

“Our total item count was 683 total items, which was really good for just a one-week preparation,” Gadiraju said. “If the food drive had lasted longer, we could’ve gone to more neighborhoods. With the limited amount of time, I think we did really good.”

White also believes that the reason for the success of the food drive is that people already want to donate and help if they can, but oftentimes don’t have the avenue to do so due to food shelters limiting the amount of donations they accept this year. The food drive gave them the opportunity to do that, which White believes is why the food drive received so many donations.

“I think that a lot of people have the kindness in their heart to go donate and give to people in need, but sometimes they need an outlet or an easy way to do it,” White said. “So by going to peoples’ houses and dropping off bags we make it incredibly simple for people to be able to donate, which I think drives in a lot of donations.”

All of the food items and donations from the drive, according to Gadiraju, will be sorted and organized by his temple before being donated to the Shawnee Community Services Center, where they will be distributed to community members in need of food for Thanksgiving.

“It was organized by my Temple, so in a few days we are going to get all the gatherings and food, organize it in bigger boxes,” Gadiraju said. “Then we will send it to the Shawnee Community Services Center so they can distribute it for Thanksgiving.” 

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