An alliance against hunger

November 12, 2016

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Lynn English’s Juan Fernandez receives supplies from Classical’s Aya Dabash at the Super Stop & Shop in Lynn where the Lynn Youth Health Alliance is collecting food for the needy.

By GAYLA CAWLEY

LYNN — The Lynn Youth Health Alliance and Stop & Shop customers teamed up to mount a food drive filling 16 boxes with donations for hungry families.

Counting city high school students as members, the Alliance partnered with Move for Hunger, a national nonprofit organization, and Two Men and a Truck, a moving company, to hold the “Fill-A-Truck” food drive at the Super Stop & Shop in Lynn on Wednesday.

Students encouraged shoppers to donate non-perishable food, such as peanut butter, tuna fish, canned fruit and vegetables, pasta and rice, to fill the truck. The food is destined for delivery to the Greater Boston Food Bank.

“I think it was a huge success,” said Bridget Peters, SCI AmeriCorp member and youth leadership coordinator with Lynn Youth Health Alliance. “I think it was a good time to do it between 4 and 7 (p.m.) just because a lot of people are going after work or school to grocery shop. We were just pleased with how generous the Lynn community was.”

Peters said in addition to shoppers donating grocery items, some also gave cash, so the students could go into the store and purchase food for the drive.

Peters said the food drive was a project picked by students. One of the goals of the project was to fight hunger. According to statistics provided by Move for Hunger, more than 700,000 people in Massachusetts face hunger each day. One in seven children in the state will go hungry tonight.

“Lynn Youth Health Alliance’s mission is to make the Lynn community a healthier place,” Peters said. “We’re hoping this food drive can contribute to that.”

Dashon Jones, 15, a sophomore at Lynn English High School, said the job of the health alliance is to help out the community, food and physical fitness-wise. He said students thought the food drive would be a quick way to help people who aren’t as fortunate. He said his reason for getting involved with the health alliance was simple.

“I realized that I was just too focused on personal success, on myself,” Jones said. “I decided that I wanted to make a difference in the community.”

Aya Dabash, 16, a junior at Lynn Classical High School, said she was hoping the food drive would make people more aware of their surroundings.

“A lot of people aren’t getting as much food as they need,” she said.


Gayla Cawley can be reached at gcawley@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.