Greenfield Key Club’s drive-thru food drive to benefit Salvation Army

  • People line up for warm meals at the Salvation Army on Chapman Street in Greenfield on Tuesday. Students in the Greenfield High School Key Club are organizing a drive-thru food drive that will benefit the Salvation Army’s food program Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Cook Jose Lopez Cotto plates up some fish with rice and beans at the Salvation Army on Chapman Street in Greenfield on Tuesday. Students in the Greenfield High School Key Club are organizing a drive-thru food drive that will benefit the Salvation Army’s food programs. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • Volunteer Patricia Culver hands out meals at the Salvation Army on Chapman Street in Greenfield on Tuesday. Students in the Greenfield High School Key Club are organizing a drive-thru food drive that will benefit the Salvation Army’s food programs. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 12/15/2020 4:14:27 PM

GREENFIELD — Students in the Greenfield High School Key Club are organizing a drive-thru food drive at the school’s front entrance on Friday to benefit the Salvation Army’s food programs.

Donations can be dropped off between 3 and 5 p.m. Desired items include canned soups, canned vegetables, canned fruit, chicken, tuna and peanut butter.

“This is a difficult time for many people and they are really struggling. We need to work as a community to support our community,” said Key Club President Cassandra Mattie. “Anything you can donate, even if it is one thing, will help feed another mouth.”

“We’re hoping people will share a little holiday spirit and do a little good,” added Key Club Advisor Lisa Moore. “Any little bit helps.”

Moore described the student group as “basically the little brother or sister” of the Greenfield Kiwanis Club, which sponsors the Key Club. Through the club, students participate in volunteer activities throughout the year, sometimes in conjunction with the Kiwanis Club chapter.

In a more typical year, Moore said, Key Club members volunteer with the Stone Soup Cafe at All Souls Church. They have also helped with community meals held at Greenfield’s Second Congregational Church.

“For years we’ve done a food drive for our own school,” Moore said.

With information from Greenfield High School’s Nursing Department and guidance counselors, Moore learns how many families might be in need. In past years, food has been collected and distributed to families during the week of Christmas or spring break, when students would not receive meals at school. However, Moore said this was done with help from the Food Service Department, which she said is busy continuing its “phenomenal” work to help feed students during the pandemic and cannot assist with the Key Club program this year.

Still, Moore said students wanted to find a way to give back to the community this holiday season, and decided to hold an alternative food drive to benefit the Greenfield Salvation Army’s food programs.

The students also plan to have some fun with the event by dressing up as elves, Christmas presents or donning other festive attire.

“There’s a rumor that Santa and Mrs. Claus may show up,” Moore said with a chuckle.

Other Key Club activities

Mattie, a senior and three-year Key Club member, said her favorite part of being involved in the club is being able to help others.

“It has been a complete joy to work with the community in school and out of school to help others,” she said. “I also love being part of a group of students who are super supportive and willing to work hard.”

On Thursday, the day before the food drive, Key Club members will be volunteering by ringing bells outside Stop & Shop on the French King Highway as part of the Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle campaign.

Greenfield Key Club students also recently completed a virtual reading program through United Way of Franklin County, where they partnered with local elementary schools to read to younger students. Moore said the students participate in the program alongside the Greenfield Kiwanis Club each April and November.

“We buy all the books, give them to elementary schools and go read to them,” Kiwanis Club President Tom Murphy said. “Normally, we’d sit in class and read them a story. The kids love it. We give out stickers and have a great time.”

This year, given the lasting COVID-19 pandemic and public health concerns, books were dropped off to the young students, and the high schoolers led virtual reading sessions instead.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.

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