Bread of Life Annual Food Drive Seeks To Gather 60,000 Food Items From 131 Partner Schools To Deliver To Food Pantries Whose Holiday Donations Have Run Out

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District Attorney McMahon, Borough President Fossella, and Notre Dame Club of Staten Island Team Up in Support of the 33rd Annual “Fight Hunger, Not Each Other” Bread of Life Food Drive
Staten Islander News has previously reported on this charitable partnership here.
1- What is your goal for this year’s food drive?

The GOAL of this year’s 2024 Bread of Life Food Drive is to raise 60,000 items of Food, to be given to 25 Not-for-Profit Organizations on Staten Island that provide food to individuals and families in need of food.It is also the GOAL of the Notre Dame Bread of Life Food Drive to raise an awareness amongst young people of the need to help us fight “food insecurity” on Staten Island. We strive to enhance, always, a culture of giving among the young people we engage with our Food Drive.

2- Is there an urgency to this year’s food drive due to the increased numbers of food insecure families and individuals on Staten Island (according to the Salvation Army)?

YES, there is a great sense of urgency for this year’s Bread of Life Food Drive to provide much-needed food and necessities for individuals and families having a difficult time to obtain enough food to simply survive.

Joe also provided some more information about the Bread Of Life Food Drive: 

25 organizations including Salvation Army, have been fortunate enough to get 60,000 items of non-perishable food each year at this time from this food drive.  This has included cans of soup, tuna fish, pasta, other canned and packaged foods, etc.


There will be collection sites at 131 schools over a two week period.  The program started this past Monday and will end on Friday, March 22nd.  Some of the food banks that receive their donations include the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Project Hospitality, JCC’s food pantry, and twenty-one others. The food drive started this past monday, March 11th with donation sites set up at schools, and ends with the collection of food on Friday March 22nd. They will send 8 trucks to the schools to pick up the food, then bring it to Monsignor Farrell High School on march 23rd, They will take it off the trucks, sort it, and redistribute it to the recipient organizations, who will either pick up the food on that day, or it will delivered by their team. They will be at Farrell High School from 7am till about 12 noon.

 

In response to a query about providing can openers, as had been mentioned in a wish list provided by the Staten Island Hunger Task Force: Rev. Teri Troia works to make sure that can openers are provided if necessary, but this food drive doesn’t request those. However, in addition to food, they also accept baby clothing, but it is for food primarily. Another goal of Notre Dame Bread of Life is to raise awareness among young people about the reality of food insecurity for many families, including those in which one or both parents work full time, and still struggle to make ends meet.  Staten Islander News will be speaking with a representative from the Salvation Army in the coming weeks about the increasing issue of food insecurity, particularly among Staten Island residents.  As we previously reported on with the Hunger Task Force monthly meeting about Kosher and Halal food needs, this is a larger problem than many realize.  The only benefit to come from the pandemic was that people are less hesitant to ask for help when they need it.

 

The goal of their charity is always trying to raise awareness among young people about food insecurity, keeping people aware of the need to help other people in their own communities who may be struggling with food insecurity. They are one of the organizations that has their food drives at other times of the year.  Most charities, and thus most people, focus on charitable giving during Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then tend to forget that those same food pantries operate and need for year round.

The Bread of Life Food Drive was started 33 years ago in the spring to fill that void after the year-end food drive items run out. Nobody realizes that after the holidays, the pantries still need food. But right now, since covid, food insecurity has become a real problem on staten island. This charity also does mini food drives in summer and fall as well, and they are happy to help pantries that have run out of food by the end of March, when the items they received during the holidays tend to run out.  The need persists, though, so this food drive helps keep the food pantries going through the summer, with other drives the rest of the year to allow the pantries to continue to serve their communities.

Bread of Life Food Drive announcement. Image Credit - Mary DiBiase Blaich

Bread of Life Food Drive announcement. Image Credit – Mary DiBiase Blaich

The original release from DA McMahon’s Office regarding this event is below:

Staten Island, NY – On Thursday March 14th at 2:30 PM at Staten Island Borough Hall (10 Richmond Terrace, Room 125) District Attorney Michael E. McMahon, Borough President Vito J. Fossella, the Notre Dame Club of Staten Island, and dozens of students from across the borough will announce the start of the 33rd Annual “Fight Hunger, Not Each Other” Bread of Life Food Drive at a press conference.

For the third consecutive year, the time-honored tradition is utilizing the tagline “Fight Hunger, Not Each Other” to encourage students to steer clear of violence and to come together to help the less fortunate. Students in both public and private schools will lead and participate in the drive to fight food insecurity across Staten Island, which will conclude with a major packaging and distribution event at Monsignor Farrell High School on Saturday, March 23, 2024. Over 25 non-profit organizations across Staten Island will benefit from this effort.

Banner Image: Bread Of Life Food Drive kickoff at Boro Hall.  Image Credit – Mary DiBiase Blaich via Bread Of Life Food Drive


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