Students from the Helping Hands club at Massapequa High School’s Ames Campus recently got an inside look at an organization that provides a critical service on Long Island. A group of 10 ninth graders visited the Island Harvest distribution center in Melville on Nov. 1, the club’s first field trip since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Helping Hands members spent three hours at the facility, learning about Island Harvest’s hunger relief efforts and volunteering their time to put together food packages for needy families. Students created an assembly line to put together boxes and fill them with specific food items.
“It was a good opportunity to help people that need food,” student Brielle Dargenio said. “I felt grateful to be able to help.”
The group was able to interact with several of Island Harvest’s regular volunteers and learned that the charitable organization puts together thousands of those food kits each month, which are distributed to community centers around Long Island. Ames students contributed a few hundred in their short time at the distribution center.
“It’s important to give back to the community and help in any way that you can,” added Bridget Parkes.
Faridah Benhammou said that the trip gave her greater appreciation for all that she has, and noted the importance of supporting people who don’t have as much.
Advisers Alyssa Levine and Nicole Reiss said they are hoping to visit Island Harvest again during the school year. Helping Hands is also assisting another hunger relief organization, Long Island Cares, but collecting donations for its Thanksgiving adopt-a-family program.
1: Ten students from the Massapequa High School Ames Campus Helping Hands club spent the day at the Island Harvest food distribution center in Melville on Nov. 1.
2: Students volunteers their time to help fill boxes with food, which will be distributed to community centers on Long Island.
3: Helping Hands members said they learned more about hunger relief efforts through their trip to Island Harvest.
Photos courtesy of the Massapequa School District