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  • Writer's pictureKAIT BEDELL

Habitat for Humanity helps hungry families

Junior Morgan Duquette and Habitat for Humanity President Isabelle Conway stuff brown paper bags with lunches to be donated. Photo by Kait Bedell

Between busy class schedules and heavy homework loads, Habitat for Humanity spends their spare time helping others.

The club has partnered with Father Bill’s and MainSpring to help others in need. Previously, the club would volunteer at the pantry in person. After the pandemic hit, the pantry created the bagged lunch program to continue to help families in need.

Habitat for Humanity is among some of the volunteers who pack sandwich lunches to send to the pantry. Once a semester, the group gets together to make 15-25 lunches.

“I think it’s really nice to give back,” Habitat for Humanity President Isabelle Conway said. “It’s something so simple that’s a lot of fun for us to do, so it’s just like a no brainer to help others.”

Conway said the club likes to draw pictures on the brown paper bags to add a more personal touch for the families that receive them.

Despite having many other organizations that are also donating brown paper bags, Conway said the pantry is just as excited to receive their donations each time the club volunteers.

“They appreciate that we’re college students and we’re so busy and we still want to help them out,” Conway said.

Community Engagement Specialist from Father Bill’s and MainSpring, Mary Ann Mendes, also said she is grateful for the contributions Habitat for Humanity as well as other organizations make.

“Even though it’s a small task….it does make a huge difference,” Mendes said.

Mendes said the recipients of the bagged lunches also often express how grateful they are for those who contribute to the program.

“People who come are guests that come and receive the bag lunches, they really I think, express that they know somebody else is thinking of them,” Mendes said. “These people have had difficult circumstances and many of them feel isolated and are struggling with a number of issues and to know that somebody made a bag lunch for them, you can’t really put a value on that monetary value.”

In addition to the physical contributions that donors make to the program, Mendes also said the bag lunch program helps keep the pantry connected to their community.

“Our connection to those doing the bag lunches are important to us,” Mendes said. “That keeps us connected with the community and it’s so important for us and the work that we do.”

Conway said she also likes getting involved in the bagged lunch program because it allows her and the club to get involved, and that they hope to do it more frequently in the future.

“...It’s just overall great to give back, so I definitely encourage it,” Conway said. “I know in college we’re really, really busy, but I think just even taking an hour of your time to volunteer somewhere or coming to a Habitat meeting for 45 minutes makes all the difference and just makes you feel more connected to the community around you.”


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