Freshman Ryan Ryu unloads food donations from Thornton Academy students at the Saco Food Pantry. Courtesy photo

SACO — For the past two weeks, Thornton Academy students and staff have been gathering non-perishable food items during the ‘Stuff the Bus’ food drive.

The event began during the weekend of Nov. 13 and 14 as student council members went door to door collecting donations. During the week of Nov. 15 through 19, one of the school’s mini buses was parked in the middle of the quad. The bus’s doors remained open during school hours to accept donations from students and staff.

Student council co-advisor Mary Ann Martin helped to organize the ‘Stuff the Bus’ campaign. “It is great to see our students help collect food for others in need. Giving back is the best, and it betters our community and leaves a long-lasting, positive impact. It makes your heart feel good!” Martin said.

Thornton Academy student council members delivered the food to the Saco Food Pantry Tuesday afternoon. Students unloaded the boxes from the bus and placed them into the pantry for distribution to food pantry clients. This year was one of the most successful ever. In total, over 50 large boxes of food were donated to the pantry.

Thornton Academy student body President Grace Sommer helped to deliver the food. “We should be coming together during the holiday season to help our neighbors in need, especially in a time like this. It warms my heart that my peers and it can provide support within our community,” Sommer said.

The Saco Food Pantry serves families from the greater Saco area. Clients are able to come to the pantry once a month to receive perishable and non-perishable food items. The pantry relies on generous donations from area organizations to support their efforts to provide food to over 8,000 individuals annually.

John White, the president of the Board of Trustees of the Saco Food Pantry, said, “I wish to thank the Thornton Academy Students, Faulty and Alumni for their hard work in making this food drive a total success and providing the meals needed to help others, as Robert Nichols would say, “Walk that extra mile”. So many find it extremely difficult at this time of the year with the holidays fast approaching and finances running out. These meals that TA has provided will go a long
way to feeding the less fortunate. I thank you all for your hard work in pulling it all together,” White said.

The Saco Food Pantry is open for client visits from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. Learn more about becoming a client, making a donation, or volunteering at the pantry at www.sacofoodpantry.org.

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