CSOM Hosts First Annual Food Drive Benefitting Newton's Centre Street Food Pantry
November 27, 2012
By Rachael Kleinman, MBA '14
During the busy weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, the CSOM graduate community paused to reflect on the true spirit of the holiday and the school’s Jesuit tradition of service. November 1 thru 15 marked the school’s first annual food drive in support of the Newton Centre Street Food Pantry. The goal of the drive was to provide at least 600 items to the pantry for Thanksgiving meals, and it was a resounding success: over 1,600 items were donated, helping the Centre Street Food Pantry create more than enough Thanksgiving bags for the 260+ local families who depend on its services.
The food drive’s incredible success was attributable not only to the CSOM community’s generosity, but also to the competitive spirit of its students. In an effort to encourage participation, the food drive organizers decided to make the event a competition. The entire graduate school was divided into five teams: Evening MBAs, First-Year MBAs, Second-Year MBAs, MSA & MSF students and CSOM Faculty & Staff.
The numbers rose slowly in the first week, and at the start of the second only 286 items had been collected. Knowing that a huge barrier for graduate students to participate was busy schedules, Second-Year, Jacob Thibeault agreed to make a Costco run on behalf of his class. First-Year MBA, Mike Kemp followed suit and collected money from his classmates to purchase items in bulk from the wholesaler. While the Second-Years won with the largest donations (703!), the entire program pulled together to ensure that the Centre Street Food Pantry was well-stocked for the holiday.
The drive culminated in a morning of volunteerism on Saturday, November 17th, as a group of CSOM graduate students and staff unloaded two SUV’s full of food items into the pantry. When asked if the donations would help, Amy McGregor Radin, Pantry Manager, assured those present that the Carroll School of Management’s efforts would not only help fill Thanksgiving tables, but would likewise keep the Centre Street Food Pantry stocked throughout the winter.
Stark statistics spurred the CSOM community to action during the food drive: one in nine members of the eastern Massachusetts community is at risk of hunger, and this number continues to grow during a challenging economic climate and record unemployment. The Centre Street Food Pantry was founded in 2011, to provide families within the Newton community with consistent access to nutritious food in a dignified and sensitive environment. As of October, the Centre Street Food Pantry had more than 260 families on their roster and met an average of 10 new families each week.