Julia Ely and Carlin Barton
BMHS PrideTime Reporters
As Thanksgiving approaches, the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) organize the annual food drive at Brien McMahon High School. Students donate hundreds of non-perishable food items, which will be given as Thanksgiving dinners to those who cannot afford them.
The question frequently asked by faculty, students, and parents is: what happens to the food after I donate it?
Mrs. Slattery, a teacher at Brien McMahon and the faculty advisor for the FBLA explains, “Once the students from the FBLA have picked up all the cans from the classrooms, we line them up in the hall leading out to the tennis courts. The Salvation Army then comes and picks them up.”
The Salvation Army is an international non-profit organization focused on bettering local communities by providing shelter, helping families overcome poverty, curing hunger, etc. The Salvation Army provides food to every ZIP code in America. Every year, around Thanksgiving and the holiday season, the Salvation Army works to provide hot meals and food boxes to families in need.
Caroline Ramos, a President for the Salvation Army branch in Norwalk says, “The Salvation Army helps cure hunger daily by providing nutritious meals to anyone in need. This includes homeless people of all ages, as well as individuals and families who may be down on their luck and in need of some extra assistance.”
The Salvation Army is an organization on the international scale, however in Norwalk, CT, the canned food drive is coordinated solely by the Brien McMahon chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club. The FBLA is a national organization that helps students further their knowledge of business, prepare them for the business world, and develop leadership skills, as well as run fundraisers and other community service events that involve the entire school and benefit the community. Every year, the club provides sizable contributions to the Salvation Army and truly make a difference to the lives of people the Norwalk community.
Tymar Dowe, a senior at Brien McMahon High School and the President of the Brien McMahon FBLA chapter, says, “The food drive means a lot to FBLA because it is something that we do annually and each year to see the amount of items increase makes us feel really good and proud of what we’re doing.”
This year, the FBLA had a goal of reaching 1,100 items. Fortunately, they ended up reaching and even exceeding that goal with over 1,200.
“In the future we hope to see an increase in the items collected and the goal will also increase.”