Boxes, bags and baskets of food were placed in the front of Holy Cross Church on Nov. 22, the culmination of a three-week food drive conducted by the students of Holy Cross School in South Portland.
The items had been collected in the classrooms of the school over the course of the food drive and were brought to the church for a morning prayer service. According to Dave Guthro, communications director of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, so much food was gathered during the initiative that some of the classrooms were forced to bring only a few cans to the service to represent their much larger collections which were too big to bring over from the school to the church.
“One of the things we see every day with these kids is that they are really aware of the gifts that they have,” said Bill Ridge, a teacher at Holy Cross. “They work really hard to share whatever they have with the rest of the community. It’s an appreciation of the many gifts they have and being able to give back to people they know don’t have as much. Thanksgiving is such a special time for them to do that.”
After the service, all of the food at the church, along with the items still at the school, were delivered to the South Portland Food Cupboard, which provides food to people in need in South Portland, Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth and surrounding communities.
The organization is a regular recipient of the kindness of the Holy Cross community, and even draws assistance directly from students.
“Some of our seventh- and eighth-graders will go to the food cupboard and serve as ‘personal shoppers’ for those who need support,” said Ridge. “They go there and they see the people in need and come back inspired to help them here at the school. It’s great.”
The community is invited to help celebrate the season at several upcoming band and choral concerts by South Portland middle and high school students. Admission is free for all concerts, which will all take place in the South Portland High School Auditorium, 637 Highland Ave.
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m. – South Portland High School Band Concert
Tuesday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m. – Memorial Middle School Band Concert with High School Marching Band
Wednesday, Dec. 14, 7 p.m. – Mahoney Middle School Band Concert with High School Marching Band
Monday, Dec. 19, 7 p.m. – High School and Middle Schools Choral Concert
Holy Cross School student Ruth Boles, center, speaks during an event at Holy Cross Church in South Portland that was held to celebrate a schoolwide food drive. At left is Liam Sanderl, with Parker Griset peeking over the podium.