A 10-ton food donation to three borough charities serving needy people was made by a local high school in a show of holiday generosity.
Fordham Prep’s Student Ministry program, with help from the entire school community, donated roughly 20,000 pounds of canned food to Part of the Solution in Fordham, Concourse House on the Grand Concourse, Mercy Center in Mott Haven just in time for Thanksgiving.
Students collected food in their homerooms for the entire month of November, which the school recognizes as its Hunger Awareness Month, said Michael Kravatz, director of student ministry.
In total, more than 31,000 cans were collected for distribution to the three charities. Some of the school’s students also do volunteer work at these centers as part of their mandatory service commitment.
Two students from Morris Park, seniors James Carrion and Anthony DellaCamera, were on the ministry leadership team that conducted the drive.
Carrion said that going to POTS and meeting some of the people there motivated him in working on the drive.
“I got the opportunity to go to this great school and I feel like this is also my opportunity to give back,” said Carrion. “When I went to the POTS center and I meet the people there, I could see the gratitude on their faces, and how much it meant that we were doing this for them.”
He said that he knew that it would feed people who otherwise might not have enough to eat during the season.
DellaCamera said that he had donated cans to the drive in his first three years at the school, and that indirect participating in the drive made him want to help coordinate and help run it in his senior year.
“It helped me realize that it not only benefits ourselves in terms of the good feeling we get in collecting it, but also helps people who get the food,” he said, adding that he had volunteered at POTS’ soup kitchen and food pantry.
As part of the food drive, said Carrion, some homeroom teachers held competitions to see who could collect the most cans, with thousands of cans amassed by the winning homeroom.
After the dive was completed, students loaded the food into school buses that are used to transport student athletes to and from sporting events and drove them to the three social service centers, said DellaCamera.
Kravatz said he believes that the young men take away a sense of service from the project.
“It is an opportunity for their faith to be put into action,” he said. “It is an opportunity for them to get outside the campus to meet our neighbors in the Bronx and to encounter some organizations that do great work in the community.”
According to a school spokeswoman, Fordham Prep received an anonymous donation of up to $60,000, based on the amount of food it collected.
That donation will be used to provide scholarships and financial aid to students from the same communities where the food was delivered.