Every November, collection tables in the Kiva and in the Upper School slowly fill with boxes of stuffing mix, cans of cranberry sauce, soups, gravy, and other Thanksgiving meal fixings donated for local families in need. This year, Shore families provided more than 1,300 pounds of holiday food, for a total of 125 complete meals that were delivered to the nonprofit Beverly Bootstraps during the week of November 13.
"Fifth grade junior senators did an admirable job sorting and dividing the food items into bagged meals" said Dean of Students Sean Melia. The fifth graders loaded the hundreds of bags onto a Shore school bus, which carried the students and the food to Beverly Bootstraps' new donation center in downtown Beverly. There, they were met by Heather Johnston, the organization's Director of Donor relations and a frequent partner in Shore's numerous drives for Bootstraps throughout the school year. Johnston helped the students shuttle the food in large collection trolleys to a giant scale, where they were excited to see the tallied weight rise into the thousands of pounds. Eighth graders also met with Johnston during the regular Friday service-learning period to drop off remaining items and add to Shore's grand total of 1,325 pounds of Thanksgiving food, enough to provide meals for about 125 local families served by Beverly Bootstraps.
According to Johnston, last year the organization's Food Pantry distributed 307,720 pounds of food, helping 2,522 individuals and 1,111 households with food assistance. "Our Food Pantry depends heavily on donations from individuals and organizations like Shore Country Day School," Johnston said. "Especially around this time of year, donated food can make all the difference for families who look to us for help so they can enjoy a holiday meal together." Thanksgiving food drives like Shore's will provide meals for more than 500 families this year.