By Cate Marchetti
I always pictured Hanover as the definition of a suburban oasis; new developments springing up right and left, a constant influx of well-to-do middle class families, kids growing up always having enough. While the majority of residents in our town are indeed very fortunate, there are certainly people who could use a helping hand during the upcoming holiday season. Thanksgiving is a time of pigging out on your grandmother’s delicious pumpkin pie, playing football with your cousins, and meticulously cleaning your house for company. Most importantly however this holiday is a celebration of giving; giving thanks, giving love, and giving to others in your community. Hanover is taking advantage of this spirit by helping the less fortunate enjoy a festive and filling Thanksgiving.
Charity is taking its hold first and foremost here at the high school. Student council has once again organized the annual Thanksgiving Canned Food Drive, and is experiencing enormous success. Every morning on their way into school, students can be seen loading donations into the already full collection bin. Members of the student council hold giant signs reminding their peers to bring in goods for the collection. The donations will benefit the Hanover Emergency Food Pantry. Hanover High School will also be partaking in the Soap and Towel Campaign this holiday season. The Campaign is collecting everything from bed sheets to toiletries and is dedicated to raising awareness of the homeless at a local level. The amenities collected will be distributed to families in need, ensuring that all residents of Hanover enjoy the comforts of a warm meal and cozy bed this holiday season.
The middle school will similarly be participating in a canned food drive in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving break this year. The generosity of families has been astounding in previous years, resulting in hundreds of nonperishable food items being donated to the local food pantry. Middle School students are not only helping out families in need, but also engaging in fierce competition with rival homerooms. This contest is a fun way for students to become involved in charity and also benefits families in the community.
Let’s be realistic, the most anticipated part of Thanksgiving is the food. Food pantries provide the necessities for many during the month of November in states all across America. The Hanover Emergency Food Pantry already caters to about 80 families a month, according to Barbara Itz, the food pantry’s co-chairman. Before Thanksgiving, however, this number more than doubles. Many people in Hanover find it hard to make ends meet around the holidays, especially elderly singles and one-parent families. The food pantry does all it can to help, and volunteers are once again gearing up for what they believe will be a busy Thanksgiving. Due to cultural shifts and the growing number of ethnic groups in Hanover, the food pantry now hands out gift cards to local supermarkets rather than traditional holiday gift baskets. This new development allows families to celebrate how they please, while still giving them more traditional options such as pumpkin pie mix and cranberry sauce. Thankfully, around Thanksgiving donations tend to pick up as people embrace the true meaning of the holiday.
Shaw’s and Star Markets are also doing their part this Thanksgiving through their new program called “Turkey Bucks.” The policy allows shoppers to donate one, five, or ten dollars which will be put towards the purchase of turkeys. The birds will then be delivered to a local food pantry so that underprivileged families can experience a traditional turkey dinner on Thanksgiving.
The combined efforts of these local organizations are making it possible for everyone in Hanover to experience a warm and filling Thanksgiving, and inspiring others to give this holiday season.
For more information on the Hanover Emergency Food Pantry or to donate, contact (781) 878-6284 or visit http://www.sharingweb.org/agencies/orgdetail.asp?OrgID=24