Scituate Food Pantry Welcomes Student Volunteers


Jada Thielen, Staff Writer

Scituate High School has a community service graduation requirement of 50 documented volunteer hours, and there are plenty of local organizations that welcome student volunteers.
It was an eye-opening experience discussing these opportunities with SHS history teacher Heather Willinger, who teaches a service-learning course that highlights community engagement. A recent meeting that both students and teachers attended called “Seat at Table” brought my attention to over 25 organizations just in Scituate.
COVID is not an excuse to get away from doing your community service hours; instead, it’s a chance to step in and find an organization that strikes your interest. These organizations still need help–even if it is remotely.
The Scituate Food Pantry is still going strong through the pandemic, as Community Service Program Director Juli McLaughlin explained. With an increased number of volunteers from prior years, this organization helps students get involved with the process of giving back to the community. A student volunteer’s job typically includes taking in food donations, taking note of expiration dates, and storing donations for later use. Although these may seem like simple tasks, it is important to keep good records, as there is a “tremendous food waste” worldwide. For holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Veteran’s Day, food pantry volunteers create food boxes that provide bountiful celebrations for local families.
As free time becomes more available, volunteering at the food pantry would provide a priceless service to the community. Student volunteers also have the opportunity to learn new skills and meet new people. According to McLaughlin, the Scituate Food Pantry has many easy volunteer opportunities for everyone. It opens its arms as a safe and productive environment that encourages young adults to get involved.
Recently, at SHS there were rumors that community service hours could put off due to the pandemic. According to SHS Principal Lisa Maguire, community service requirements have been waived for the Class of 2021, but they are still mandatory for future graduating classes.