The SADD organization sponsored a Thanksgiving food drive at in November, which, according to organizers, proved to be a successful one.
On Tuesday afternoon, SADD Advisor Stefanie Yundi of Lewis F. Cole and Community Service Coordinator Barbara Pastore filled up the trunks and backseats of their cars—with the help of custodians Robert Reyes, Joe Cappellini and Demba Mane—and delivered the goods to Epiphany RC Church in Cliffside Park.
“The kids [donated food], the teachers did, and then the SADD members went around to the homerooms in the morning,” Yundi said. “We made announcements over the loudspeaker, and we had a really good turnout.”
They also collected donations to purchase food cards for the Fort Lee Human Services Department by having a “dress down day,” during which teachers at the school paid $5 to wear jeans to work.
“We collected $175, and with that, we went and got ShopRite gift cards that we’re going to bring over to the Human Services Department,” Yundi said, adding that the Thanksgiving food drive is something SADD does every year.
Pastore, who brought along food collected at the high school and the , joined Yundi at the middle school, where the two were to set off on their charitable mission, which in recent years, has become a little more difficult to do.
“Hackensack has [a food pantry], but they only give to certain members, and they don’t allow certain people to go in,” Yundi said. “So Barbara found this [church in Cliffside Park], and it actually allows Fort Lee residents to go to. If you’re collecting in a town like Fort Lee, and they can’t go, it defeats the purpose.”
Pastore said it took her five years “to find out who had a food pantry.”
“We used to have one in Madonna, but we gave it up years ago,” she said. “We also used to have one in human services in Fort Lee.”
Glad to have finally found a place to donate, Pastore added that the Epiphany RC Church receives and provides food with “no questions asked.”
“In Hackensack, the kids have to fill out applications with their parents; their parents are ashamed,” she said. “And this could be just a one shot deal. They’re having a bad week or something, so they go down, they get the food. It is nice; it is very nice.”