MHS Food Drive feeds 40 families for Thanksgiving

As with everything else in our recent memory, the traditional Monticello High School Food Drive had to be adapted for the 2020 school year. But it went on!

Considerations were given to the health of our volunteers, our student body, and our faculty and staff, as well as the families in our community.

The committee was intentionally small to help ensure social distancing. Instead of collecting donations from homeroom classes and creating a spirited class competition, our faculty and staff came to the rescue.

A group of high school students are around a table that is filled with canned goods.

Karen Collura, Food Drive advisor, sent out an email to the faculty and staff explaining the challenge of this year. That’s when the Panther generosity exploded! Donations came from secretaries, teaching assistants, teaching aids, teachers, members of Central Office, and our very own Monticello Teachers Association.

In total, we raised $2,275.42 which went directly to create 40 baskets of Thanksgiving cheer. Each basket contained the following items: corn, green beans, peas, yams, a five-pound bag of potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, iced tea, rolls, a pumpkin pie, a roasting pan, and a turkey.

Rumina and Ed from Monticello’s Shop Rite were exceptional in arranging for the food pickup Tuesday morning, Nov. 24, and even had a tray of delicious bakery cookies for the volunteers and a $100 gift card from Shop Rite to help offset the cost.

This year, instead of our boisterous food pyramid building, winning homerooms, and MHS lobby pickups, the food was quietly picked up from Shop Rite and brought to the Ted Stroebele Community Center where the committee worked with Julian Dawson, an MHS alum, who is the CPO of our local United Way.

high school students begin filling white baskets with food

Principal Stephen Wilder stopped by to thank this year’s committee for their hard work and generous spirits. He spoke to them about having an “abundance mindset” and an “attitude of gratitude.”

The committee – composed of seniors Katelynn Boothe, Amanda Bowdren, Michelle Lin, Paul Soto and Noel Varughese and juniors Owen Bassett, Emily Collura, Cavan Leaney Levenson and Liza Mitchell – spent the day greeting community members as they picked up their baskets. As the day progressed, the members of the committee certainly increased their understanding of service before self and gratitude.

A group of nine high school students are in front of a supermarket, all wearing masks. Three are kneeling and six are seated behind them


Pictures contributed by Katelynn Boothe, Steven Raabe, Elizabeth Bassett and Karen Collura