Students give back to the community through donations

NHS collects non-perishable goods to stock local food pantries


NHS members (from left) Allison Bloem, Gabrielle Pawlikowski, Grace Higgins, and Emily McKenna prepare classroom collection bags for the food drive (photo courtesy of Britt Ligmanowski).

Mckinley Huffman, Reporter

For the second year in a row, National Honor Society (NHS) administered a schoolwide food drive to collect donations for local food pantries during the holiday season, NHS executive board member Emily McKenna ‘23 said. 

LT has always supported many philanthropic efforts and events, including various smaller-scale food drives; however, this food drive, involving every classroom, is still a relatively new addition.

Students at both campuses were encouraged to donate non-perishable items during first period classes as well as at the main entrances at each campus, NHS sponsor Suzanne Anderson said. The food was ultimately donated to the Westchester Food Pantry in Westchester, St. Francis Xavier Food Pantry in La Grange, and Share Food Share Love in Brookfield, where it was used to help members of the community in need. NHS coordinated with the food pantries to ensure that they receive what they are most in need of. 

Last year, LT donated over 2,400 items, and hoped to double that number this year, Anderson said.

“On an individual basis, it really doesn’t take much to contribute to this,” Student Activities Director Peter Geddeis said. “But when we look at 4,000 students and over 500 staff members, LT can really have a huge impact with a very small amount of individual effort.” 

The food drive ran from Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, and each campus had a competition to see which class could donate the most items, Anderson said. The plan was for the winner to pie Principal Jennifer Tyrrell in the face and receive a donut breakfast.

“Since the food drive [was] a competition, this builds on the already great classroom environments our teachers have created,” NHS sponsor Britt Ligmanowski said. “It allows students to work together towards a non-academic goal.”

Working towards this common goal with their peers encouraged students and teachers to donate, increasing the amount of good done for the community while building morale at LT, and fostering new relationships, Geddeis said. During the holiday season, when the thoughts of many turn to those less fortunate than themselves, this is particularly relevant. 

“We [hoped] to really get everyone involved in the food drive by having fun with the competition,” McKenna said. “I really think the food drive is a great way to bring the LT community together.” 

This food drive is incredibly impactful overall for the food pantries receiving LT’s large amounts of donations, as well as for the individuals who benefit from these food pantries, Geddeis said.

“I think it just contributes to that sense of LT making a difference in the community, and that is so important,” Geddeis said. “It brings us together just as much as a football game or other all-school event would, and that speaks volumes.”