As the heart of the winter approaches the undernourished in the community are hungrier than ever. Plunging nighttime temperatures and even small amounts of snow typically result in shortages of items at area food pantries. Huntington High School student government members are responding to that need by collecting non-perishable goods.
The teenager’s Stuff the Bus community service campaign is ramping up. This marks the seventh year of the initiative, which seeks to collect as many non-perishable items as possible. At the end of the drive, the items are loaded onto a school bus donated for use by Huntington Coach Corp. The “stuffed bus” is then driven to local food pantries and unloaded.
Local residents shouldn’t be surprised to see students standing outside of supermarkets in the near future, said Fred Bisogno, who serves as the organization’s faculty advisor along with Anthony Troffa. “We are currently scheduling a few dates with the supermarkets,” Mr. Bisogno said. The teenagers will ask shoppers to donate non-perishable items on their way out of the store.
The Stuff the Bus campaign will accept donations through March 24. Collection boxes are being placed in all eight school district buildings. The bus will be loaded on Saturday, March 25 and will make its way around town to food pantries, where the goods will be unloaded and shelves restocked.
“We have already started to collect items in room 213 at the high school,” said Mr. Bisogno, who just so happens to teach in the room where the items are piling up. “We are looking forward to working with many other clubs at the high school, including Interact, Key Club and the Young Leaders organization.”
Organizers said all the food collected during the Stuff the Bus drive will stay in the community. “We are also always willing to take donations from any of the other schools in the district or from community members,” Mr. Bisogno said. Those wishing to donate to the drive can drop-off items at the reception desk inside the main entrance to Huntington High School.
Huntington student council members are taking the lead in the Stuff the Bus campaign. The school-wide GO is led by Sam Prinzi (president), Emma Pipolo (vice president), Keegan Dunne (treasurer), Jack Glicker (corresponding secretary), Theresa Moreno (recording secretary), Abby Bellistri (historian) and administrative assistant William Bonilla.
The Class of 2017 is headed by seniors Kelsey Miller (president), Allyson Arleo (vice president), Nicholas Newell (treasurer), Kiera Striano (corresponding secretary), Magenta Lopez (recording secretary), James Shea (historian) and administrative assistant Cordelia Blair.
The Class of 2018 is led by juniors Lindsay Saginaw (president), Levi Leach (vice president), Joel Alfaro (treasurer), Niamh Condon (corresponding secretary), Will Hebert (recording secretary) and Charlotte Brosoff (historian) and administrative assistants Timothy Low, Katie Seccafico, Isabella Piccola, Max Robins and Melissa Lopez.
The Class of 2019 is headed by sophomores Teddy Holly (president), Caroline Lenze (vice president), Kaitlyn Sage (treasurer), Katie Burton (corresponding secretary), Henry Cartwright (recording secretary) and Ashlyn Case (historian).
The Class of 2020 is led by freshmen Chris Mavrogian (president), Gabriel Medina-Jaudes (vice president), Natalie Ciccone (treasurer), Lucas Kelly (corresponding secretary), Natalie Furman (recording secretary) and Zubair Ali (historian).
“Sam Prinzi and Ally Arleo have always been at the forefront with this project,” Mr. Bisogno said. “They are solid contributors. Young Leaders President Nick Lanzisero did a remarkable job collecting last year and he is helping again.” Many other hands are also involved.