MHS National Honors Society hosts annual MLK Day food drive

NHS members (from left) Brielle Anderson, Melanie Cohen, Lucy Kinghorn, and Jack Winters stand with Lianne Dacri (second from right), an NHS advisor and event coordinator, prior to loading donated food items that will benefit the district Backpack Program.

Sameeksha Panda

NHS members (from left) Brielle Anderson, Melanie Cohen, Lucy Kinghorn, and Jack Winters stand with Lianne Dacri (second from right), an NHS advisor and event coordinator, prior to loading donated food items that will benefit the district Backpack Program.

STAFF WRITER Sameeksha Panda

Responding to a call for community service, the MHS National Honors Society held its annual MLK Day Food Drive Fundraiser on Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to benefit the Methacton Backpack Program. 

Members of NHS alternated volunteering shifts at the event, where they helped bag, carry and sort the various food products into the organization’s storage room. More than 20 students would help to package approximately 25 food bags for their peers in the program. These food bags included juice and fruit boxes, cookies, fruit snacks and mac and cheese.

While the MLK Food Drive Fundraiser is only held once a year, the efforts of the Methacton Backpack Program are continuous. Sponsored by the district, the Backpack Program aims to provide weekend food for students facing food insecurities. Evolving over the years since founded by an Eagleville elementary school teacher, it now also provides families with new coats, school supplies, toiletries and household items.

Donated food from the MLK and prior drives rest on shelves in the storage room where volunteers can then grab items to put into each food bag. (Sameeksha Panda)

Every week, volunteers with the Program help to gather food and prepare bags that students can then take with them during the weekend. These students, from various schools in the district, are signed up for the program at the beginning of each school year.

NHS first decided to become involved with this fundraiser because of its mission to give back to the community. 

According to Gabrielle Winters, one of the main coordinators of the Methacton Backpack Program and co-advisor of NHS, “helping your peers who may not be as fortunate as you seemed like a great way to spend the MLK day with the National Honor Society students.”

This sentiment was not just for the students, however. As first a volunteer and now a coordinator, Winters believes that the program is “great to connect with the families and see how much what we were doing helped them.”

To get involved with the Methacton Backpack Program, members of the community can check out its site on the school website under the “Community” tab, or head to Facebook, where the Methacton Backpack Program posts its current needs and keeps community members up to date on ways they can help.