BY NINA RAMIREZ
It’s no secret that Harvest Drive is an organization that CCHS has been a part of over the years. Harvest Drive is a non-profit project conducted during the fall and dedicated to providing families in need with meals to help them as far as food quantities go for Thanksgiving.
Because of the effects of the pandemic, their new goal is to feed over 2,000 families with perishables, including a gift card for every single family.
The staff and students have become dedicated to this opportunity of helping the less fortunate by contributing to the process. Various CCHS clubs, including Best Buddies and Key Club, are offering their members opportunities to organize and pack several of the donated items.
Harvest Drive’s goal wasn’t the only thing that the pandemic changed, it also affected what to collect. The usual list every year has commonly included canned foods such as fruits and vegetables, but CCHS plans on aiding this year’s cause by collecting and donating toiletries, such as toilet paper and disinfecting wipes. The reason for this is to stay within safety guidelines and because numerous families are in dire need of these supplies.
“We are planning a drop-off where people can donate Harvest Drive items.”Best Buddies president Natalie Smith
However, the list on their website still seems to include certain foods such as rice, canned corn and peanut butter. That seems to be where the similarities end between this year’s drive and that of past years, since there seems to be a whole new system in the works to collect and send donations with the help of Best Buddies.
“We are planning a drop-off where people can donate Harvest Drive items,” Best Buddies president Natalie Smith said. “I think we will still be successful as we always are, even with the given circumstances and we’ll be doing it while following [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] CDC guidelines.”
Other news regarding this year’s Harvest Drive includes how the school may lose major sources of donations, which can only negatively impact the amount of items the school receives to then give to the cause. It is unlikely that CCHS will be able to do Publix collections, for example, which is usually a big portion of the donations received by the school.
With a lack of sources also comes a lack of volunteers and volunteer opportunities for students to potentially participate and get the work done quicker and easier. Teamwork is typically an important component that the school invests into accomplishing their goal for Harvest Drive, therefore involving clubs to become invested. However, these opportunities have been limited due to the pandemic situation.
“With how this year has gone so far, I know some families are especially dealing with hardships, so I think that getting donations this year is crucial.”Key Club president Isabella Marcon
“It will probably be harder to get donations and volunteers than from past years due to safety precautions needing to be met,” Key Club president Isabella Marcon said. “With how this year has gone so far, I know some families are especially dealing with hardships, so I think that getting donations this year is crucial.”
Because of these concerns, the organization was able to get a grant and a stronger partnership from the Children’s Services Council of Broward County after they contacted them in March. For instance, their channels for distribution have become wider due to the increased amount of people that have been contacted to take part, such as social workers and the South Florida Hunger Coalition.
“There is an incredible need for Harvest Drive support this year,” CCHS teacher and Best Buddies sponsor Nicole Hicks said. “Knowing that we are still actively working to gather monetary and food donations to feed our insecure families in our community is something hopeful to hold on to in 2020.”
For now, only time will tell if the organization successfully meets their new goal and how the school will contribute with their cautious system. With the help and planning of all involved, there is hope that multiple families will be aided as a result of Harvest Drive 2020.
Photo by Anabella Garcia