Record Breaking Food Drive

The Abington Community Packages Hundreds of Thousands of Meals


Kate Casey, with permission

Members of the Abington Girls Soccer Team help to package food during the community event, held in the gym, on Friday, November 22, 2019. Over 600 people donated to the effort of making 250,000 meals. Pictured (left side, front to back): Hannah Tirrell, Ellie Lindo, Delaney McCann, Zoe Balewicz, Carrie Prewitt. (right side, front to back): Gracie O’Connell, Isabella O’Connell, Caitlin Noble, Cecelia Lindo, Ava Bickford

Abby Joyce, Staff Writer

Prior to the week of Thanksgiving, members of Abington’s Joy in Christ Lutheran Church and The Outreach Program teamed up with over 600 other Abington community members for a food drive. The event was held in the gym at Abington High School on Friday, November 22. Meals were packaged for people who are food insecure around Plymouth County.

According to Jeffrey Stone, coordinator of this event and an Abington alumnus, around 43,000 people are food insecure in Plymouth County. At last 13,000 of these people are children.

This event had taken place in previous years; however, not as largely as it did this year. When talking about the contributions and funding for this event to happen last year, Stone said, “The church assembled a steering committee. We reached out to people in Abington and all over the South Shore to donate and volunteer. And we were blessed to get funding and volunteers to allow us to pay for and package over 100,000 meals for those who hunger in the South Shore.”

Pullquote Photo

There are many people in our local neighborhoods who struggle with food insecurity.”

— Jeff Stone

However, for this year a much larger team was needed. “It was so well received in 2018 that we broadened the steering committee in 2019 to include other people from Abington beyond our church, including Kate Casey from AHS.” Stone said they wanted to “set a goal to break the New England food packaging record.”  And they did. Previously, the New England food packaging record was 168,000. It was exceeded when Abington packaged 250,000 meals at the November 22 event.

This food was sent all over Plymouth County to schools, food pantries, and to programs which send students home from school with food to bring back to their homes. In addition to our own South Shore community, 25,000 meals were sent to Haiti.

Although most of the volunteers were individuals of the Abington community, many teams and other extracurricular groups participated. Some groups included club softball teams, members of the AHS girls’ soccer and boys’ hockey teams, Girl Scout Troups, and Abington High’s senior class of 2020.

We are hoping that events like this will nudge people to spend more time being involved in building a caring, compassionate and civil community

— Jeffrey Stone

Th gym was also filled with loud energetic music, and groups competitively racing to pack the most food, which boosted the camaraderie and motivation for his event.

When discussing the awareness this event raises, Stone said that many members of the Abington community might never question food security. He said, “ I think most of us on the South Shore never worry about where breakfast, lunch or dinner is going to come from. The food is just in our house.” But, he pointed out, “There are many people in our local neighborhoods who struggle with food insecurity.” He said it is “not Roxbury, not a New York inner city neighborhood, not in some third world country, but right here on the South Shore people hunger every day.”

Stone urges the community to become aware of these poverty issues in our own neighborhoods and to reach out to make a difference. He said, “We are hoping that events like this will nudge people to spend more time being involved in building a caring, compassionate and civil community.”