The news site of Marywood University

The Wood Word

The news site of Marywood University

The Wood Word

The news site of Marywood University

The Wood Word

Campus Ministry’s annual “Adopt-a-Family” project reaches 59 families

Volunteers gathered to organize bags of food to be donated to families in the community.

Campus Ministry marked another successful “Adopt-a-Family” project, guaranteeing Thanksgiving dinner for 59 families in our local community. This year’s effort exceeded the organization’s goal of 50 families.

Each year, just before Thanksgiving break, Marywood partners with the United Neighborhood Centers of Northeastern Pennsylvania to raise money and collect food for local families in need.

Volunteers placed individual food items into each bag via an assembly line system.

Volunteers gathered in the Swartz Center for Spiritual Life on Saturday, Nov. 18 to bag items such as milk, bread, butter, carrots and apples. These bagged items, along with grocery store gift cards, were then delivered to needy families throughout Scranton. Eligible families registered for gift cards at one of UNC’s locations, and some were given supplemental food depending on the size of the family.

In addition to the total $2,000 in donations from individuals across campus, 12 groups, comprised of academic departments, clubs and athletic teams, put together their own baskets of typical Thanksgiving dinner items.

Story continues below advertisement
Members of Marywood’s baseball team brought food items into Swartz Center for Spiritual Life to be sorted and delivered.

“One proven group has been the baseball team. They are sponsoring three families and there’s another group helping to bag all the extra,” said Amy Fotta, the director of Community Service and Social Justice.

Wegmans Food Markets also donated food and gift cards.

Food insecurity is at an all-time high this year, with 25% of adults in America struggling to meet their nutritional needs, according to CBS News. The network’s reporting said the rising problem is primarily due to a drastic increase in utility and grocery bills, as well as the end of most pandemic benefits.

“The families that we are serving, we are serving them for many different reasons. Families can be very grateful, and often are. We just want to remember that all of us deserve the same respect no matter what response we receive, no matter what we see when we encounter the families,” said Fotta.

Before the pandemic, registered families only received donated bags of items. However, when COVID-19 interrupted the typical Thanksgiving season, gift cards became the sole alternative.

Since then, every family now receives a gift card, with some receiving supplemental bags of food. In cases where there are multiple children under the age of 18, certain families may receive a second gift card.

“It gives them choice, autonomy; they can pick what works for their family,” said Fotta.

Items such as eggs, bread, milk, butter, carrots, and apples were included in donation bags.

The Maxis-Gillet scholarship program is offered to Marywood students who exemplify leadership in community service and social justice. Sophomore Kaitlyn Gregg, a Maxis-Gillett ambassador, was one of those responsible for planning and organizing this year’s project.

“I did this last year and it’s always a good experience to help other families, especially as we prepare to go back home to our own,” said Gregg.

Any leftover bags of food will be brought to the United Neighborhood Centers’ Community Services building at 410 Olive Street in Scranton.

Contact the Writer: [email protected]

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Emily Gunsel
Emily Gunsel, Community Editor
Emily Gunsel is a senior in the architecture program pursuing a minor in communications. The Wood Word is all she takes part in within the Comm department, but she is on the Women's Soccer Team, a member of the American Institute for Architecture Students (AIAS), and an active member in Campus Ministry. Outside of school,  Emily is in charge of all social media and marketing content for an architectural firm back home on Long Island.
Translate »