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St. Francis Prep hosts 'Drive Through' food donation for parish soup kitchen in Jamaica – QNS.com

St. Francis Prep hosts ‘Drive Through’ food donation for parish soup kitchen in Jamaica

(From l. to r. ) St. Francis Prep Principal Patrick McLaughlin and Campus Minister Marissa Rutolo, and Science Teacher/Hall of Fame Coach Ann Marie Rich.
Photo courtesy of St. Francis Prep

St. Francis Prep’s Office of Campus Ministry, along with 20 volunteers from the Prep community, held its first “drive-through” food donation drop-off last month. 

Prep’s principal, Patrick McLaughlin, was a part of the May 21 event that gave Prep students and families, faculty and staff members alike the opportunity to drive through the school parking lot and drop off donations while practicing social distancing. 

Approximately 300 boxes of non-perishable food items were donated to benefit the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Jamaica, which runs a soup kitchen for those in need within the community. 

During the school year, St. Francis Prep students, teachers and staff volunteered their time each week to help cook, prepare and serve over 250 homeless people and those in need. They even helped host a Christmas dinner each December, complete with students from Prep’s music department providing entertainment. 

Over the past months, due to the pandemic, the parish has seen an increase in those utilizing the soup kitchen. The parish now feeds more than 500 people, including families, per week.

Since supplies were running low, St. Francis Prep’s Office of Campus Ministry organized the food donation drive. 

Graduating seniors were asked to bring items to Prep’s senior drive-through, where seniors had the chance to pick up their caps and gowns and other materials. 

St. Francis Prep offers a wealth of experiences to its students, let alone the whole school community. This includes countless and varied opportunities through Prep’s Office of Campus Ministry. 

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, St. Francis Prep has undertaken the profound task of ensuring that every single one of its over 2,400 students can receive a Franciscan education, including being able to walk in the footsteps of the school’s namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, who spent his life helping those in need.

In recent weeks, Prep president, Brother Leonard Conway, reached out to families advising them that no student would be asked to leave if their family was suffering hardship due to the impact of the pandemic.

On May 5, Conway and Prep launched the TerrierSTAR Program, or Student Tuition Assistance & Relief, with a heartfelt video plea. Concurrently, the school, whose beginnings go back to 1858, saw alumni start to reach out to offer any assistance they could.

“We can’t let [the pandemic] impact students who deserve to finish a Prep education,” an alum said. “Please consider helping Prep educate young men and women who truly care about their society and their world.” 

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