It’s a tradition unlike any other on Cherry Hill.
The Students Against Destructive Decisions, or SADD, Food Drive features the entire population at Johnston High School helping to fill up the food cupboard at St. Robert Bellarmine Roman Catholic Church, which will put food on the table for many needy families this Thanksgiving.
It’s also a contest conducted by students who are ably assisted by two dedicated faculty members, namely science department head Greg Russo and Emilia Ruggiero of the Language Department.
It’s two-fold event that began on Nov. 13 and concluded last Friday, Nov. 22, with one of the largest food collection-donations in recent Johnston High history.
The drive brought in approximately 2,000 canned goods and nonperishable food items, which were delivered to the St. Robert Bellarmine food cupboard last Friday morning by students who managed to pack everything into three vehicles.
SADD President Sarah Monahan, who was unable to participate in Friday’s food delivery because she was on a school-related field trip, spearheaded a battle between the homerooms at Johnston High to see which won could bring in the most canned goods. The winning homeroom received breakfast at a local restaurant after the holiday season.
Nicholas Petrillo, president of the Student Council, emphasized that Monahan was “a huge help to the canned goods drive.”
The Student Council – along with adviser Ruggiero – collected money from Nov. 13 to last Friday that will be used to purchase turkeys for needy families in Johnson.
The food drive culminated with a Dress Down Day Friday, during which teachers and staff brought in more canned goods and offered monetary donations.
“This is lots of fun,” Petrillo said as he loaded the last box of items into his car. “It’s important, too. It’s rewarding to know we’re helping put food on the tables of needy families who for one reason or another are unfortunately having difficulty in making ends meet.”
Petrillo then paused and noted with a smile: “We’ll all be helping SADD with another important project named ‘Adopt a family!’”
“This task will involve SADD’s members being assigned gifts to purchase for local families in need at Christmas,” Petrillo said while speaking on behalf of Monahan. “Also, SADD will be working with the Student Council to promote safe decisions for our annual Winter Ball which will be held on Dec. 20 at the Graduate Providence, formerly the Biltmore Hotel.” 1
Nicholas Petrillo, center, president of the Johnston High School Student Council, is joined by Students Against Destructive Decisions vice president Melanie Vessella and secretary Julianna Ferruccio during Friday’s highly successful food delivery to the St. Robert Bellarmine food cupboard. (Sun Rise photos by Pete Fontaine) 2
Among those SADD members who helped deliver countless canned goods and nonperishable food items to the food cupboard at St. Robert Bellarmine Roman Catholic Church are, from left, Daniel Cambranes, Trista Clark, Grace Centracchio, Justin Salvatore and Nick Cronan.