Once again, the Greens Farms Academy community showed their generosity as a lead-up to Thanksgiving during the annual Food Drive. Dragon Digest sat down with GFA’s longtime All School Service Coordinator, Sue Wilchinsky who shared details about the origins of the event and who it benefits.
For years divisions were split up and donated to a series of local food banks but when Covid hit the event was at risk of being canceled. “It was actually Joe Flynn who came up with the idea of a pull-up food drive where people could safely drive their cars up and donate items without putting their health at risk,” Mrs. Wilchinsky said. “It was a huge success and one we have kept going.”
She proudly explains that the Upper School Community Service Board now has close to eighty members - a record since the organization was founded in the early 1990s. “So all the kids who want to do the food drive signed up and they'll be here in half-hour shifts to help out and also to help deliver to the shelters. It is one of our more popular and rewarding events.”
When asked about the club’s popularity, Mrs. Wilchinsky sheepishly admits that that might have been another Covid silver lining. “So when Covid hit and Drew Meyer asked me if I could help with study halls, I had 30 hours of study a week up until last year. I got really close to the kids and urged them to sign up for the Community Service Board when they got to Upper School. This year we were able to add three different projects that they can sign up for,” she explained.
She is quick to thank the GFA administration and division heads for prioritizing time for service into the schedule - noting that especially in middle school, marking out time to dedicate to getting off campus sets up a mindset for giving back that will stay with our students through their lives.
So how important is GFA’s Food Drive in feeding local families? Mrs. Wilchinsky estimates that between the Bridgeport Social Services Department, Operation Hope, the Gillespie Center and Hoskins Place, and the Open Door Shelter “we're hopefully reaching about 30,000 families with our food.”