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Food For Thought: Swampscott High School Canned Food Drive

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Jaymie Caponigro, left, and Ms. Balliro, right, sort through the bags of canned goods before giving them to the Swampscott Food Bank

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, Swampscott High School students have been doing some giving of their own. Led by members of Interact Club, as well as club adviser and art teacher at Swampscott High, Anita Balliro, the annual “Stretch Award” Canned Food Drive is in full swing; the atrium overflows with brown paper bags brimming with donated canned goods and non-perishables from students and members of the Swampscott community, which will be given to the Swampscott Food Bank before Thanksgiving.

Not only is this food drive a wonderful way to give to those in need during the holidays, but it also commemorates Ms. Balliro’s husband, Joe “Stretch” Balliro. “He was such a community guy,” says Anita Balliro, smiling as she recalls his involvement in the community. Joe Balliro was a local pharmacist and volunteered as the girls’ basketball coach for Swampscott. Always giving, he “represented the best” in his community. So, to appreciate all his contributions, Ms. Balliro began this food drive as a way to continue his generosity for those in need.

I had the chance to sit down with her to discuss the food drive, as she is eager to get the word out to as many people as possible. “You can give one can or twenty.” Ms. Balliro explains, gesturing to the many bags that have accumulated over the past couple weeks at Swampscott High. “Everyone has a chance to give something.” When asked about her goals for the food drive for this year, as well as upcoming years, Ms. Balliro was ready with a response. “I’d love it to be the entire community. Think of what we could do!” Her eagerness and determination to help others reflects what this food collection is all about; the drive has been both successful in paying tribute to Joe Balliro and collecting non-perishables for our local food pantry.

Jaymie Caponigro, a junior at Swampscott High and avid member of the Interact Club, is delighted to see so many people lending a hand this holiday season. “Even if you can’t fill a bag, it’s important to bring even just one thing — bring as much as you can.” Every donation of food helps, as it means that one more person has food on their plate this Thanksgiving. When asked about her own goals for the future of the food collection, she responds, “Someday I hope that no families in Swampscott, or even in the world, have to go hungry.” With high hopes for this food drive, Swampscott students’ contributions to the food drive have helped to work towards these aspirations.

Interact Club will continue to collect canned goods and non – perishables, with requests that the food is not out-of-date, until 11 am on Wednesday, November 24th, 2015. Donations can be brought to Swampscott High School, located at 200 Essex Street. All contributions are appreciated!

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1 Comment

One Response to “Food For Thought: Swampscott High School Canned Food Drive”

  1. Mr. Kohut on November 20th, 2015 8:22 am

    Great article! Welcome to The Blueprint.

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Food For Thought: Swampscott High School Canned Food Drive