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Notre Dame Academy students collect a ton for Merrimack Valley Food Bank

TYNGSBORO — A hallmark of an Academy of Notre Dame education is a commitment to community service.

One of the ways NDA students, faculty and administration demonstrate that commitment is with the school’s annual food drive. This year, more than 1,740 pounds of nonperishable food items were collected and delivered to the Merrimack Valley Food Bank in Lowell earlier this month.

With additional monetary donations, the equivalent total was well over a ton of food. According to officials at the food bank, that amount will feed 400 to 500 families.

“The goal was to fill an academy bus, and we certainly accomplished that,” says Clarissa Samuels, director of transportation. “We’ve been doing this as long as I can remember. Our efforts this year beat, by at least 20 percent, anything we’ve done in the past.”

Although donations came from throughout the school, nine seventh- and eighth-grade students from the Lower School’s Beta Club helped load the bus, and six pitched in to help deliver the food to the bank. Three Upper School students from the National Honor Society also assisted. Also, two bus drivers donated their personal time to make the delivery.

“It’s impressive what they’ve done here today,” said Amy Pessia, executive director of the Merrimack Valley Food Bank. “We are blessed to have NDA as a partner in the community. They are doing a great job preparing the students to continue serving our communities.

The students all described how grateful they feel for their own good fortune and how good it makes them feel to help those who are less fortunate.