With smiles on their faces and a bounce in their step, a group of St. Joseph’s College students spent last Friday’s common hour packing bags of nonperishable food to donate to Grandma’s Love, a Brooklyn-based non-profit that provides food to elementary school children and their families who might otherwise go hungry.
The SJC Brooklyn community collected mountains of nonperishable foods — including soup, mashed potatoes and gravy, canned vegetables, cereal and stuffing — for families in need. Grandma’s Love requested 66 individual packages, as it has a specific number of families in mind to deliver to.
After the bags were packed by the 15 eager student volunteers — who represented an assortment of clubs, including Students Taking A Role In Positively Empowering Society (S.T.R.I.P.E.S.), Poder Latino, First Year Experience (FYE) and the Campus Activities Board (CAB) — the leftover items were sent back to Grandma’s Love for its general food pantry.
Theresa Monforte-Caraballo, executive director of Grandma’s Love, said she looks forward to the donations from SJC Brooklyn each year. The College has partnered with Grandma’s Love for three consecutive years, sending food to families in need, ahead of Thanksgiving.
Monforte-Caraballo said it brings a smile to her face when she receives an email from Michele Corsetti — organizer of the food packing party, who also sits as SJC Brooklyn’s coordinator of off-campus housing and community service — indicating the campus is ready to collaborate and bring holiday cheer to families in need.
“To me, I look at it as students helping students,” Monforte-Caraballo said. “We’re teaching them what it’s like to give back. It just warms my heart.”
Food Drive Brings Students Together
Denise Terotola, a senior English major, said the food packing party is her favorite event of the fall semester, explaining that she volunteered to help at each of the three events that SJC Brooklyn partnered with Grandma’s Love.
“It’s just so great to see how all the clubs and athletic teams can come together for the same cause,” she said.
Devyn Stansky, a sophomore marketing major, added that she decided to volunteer at the food packing party after participating in a recent alternative spring break, a weeklong service experience that places students in an area seeking assistance after a natural disaster. Stansky explained that the trip made her want to continue doing service and get involved in her every day life.
“It’s fun to hang out with friends and give back,” Stansky noted.
Corsetti said she is proud of the efforts of the students and the entire SJC Brooklyn community for donating so much nonperishable food to the drive.
“Everything went smoothly,” Corsetti said of the food drive. “I think we have everything down to a pretty good science at this point.”