With exams behind them and looking forward to the annual tradition of Basket Mass, a group of Upper School students woke up at dawn to volunteer at one of the final food distribution events hosted by Second Harvest Food Bank in 2020. It has been a year of great need in our community, a fact evidenced by the enormous line of cars that had begun to line up at 4 a.m. outside of the Zephyr field parking lot. For hours, the students loaded cars; over 1,500 came through the line that morning.
Through the many partnerships that Sacred Heart has established in the community, students usually have an array of options to practice community service. This year, with restrictions on visitors and gatherings in most locations, students have been creative in finding ways to serve, with the safety of all in mind. As an example, these six Upper School students - Amélie Ettinger, Katherine Wise, Sophia Nawaz, Ekua Commey, Sloane Paysee, and Claire Knecht - had been in touch with Second Harvest to discuss what sort of roles they could serve for the food drive within the same pod they have established from school.
With the large scale of the event, Second Harvest was in need of every free hand. The students, along with some parents, spent hours loading bags of food, one car after the next, for hours on end. Though the exchanges were relatively brief, the students were able to directly connect with the recipients of their service, and understand the needs they faced just weeks before Christmas.
During the course of their day, the ASH volunteers had the opportunity to meet and briefly visit with Archbishop Aymond, who had visited the site to bless the food and those in attendance. The students were honored to be part of the Second Harvest mission that day. In total, over 7,150 people from 1,663 households received 400,283 pounds of food.
Additional pictures were shared by the Times-Picayune New Orleans Advocate here.