How Kids Can Help
Participate in Food Drives & Fundraisers
Volunteers are a crucial part of every program at the Holliston Pantry Shelf. The dedicated hearts and hands of the community help us complete the countless tasks that go into providing food for local residents, and to go to bed with a full belly. As a Pantry Shelf volunteer, you’ll experience endless opportunities to learn, grow, and play a rewarding role in addressing hunger.
Students at Miller, Adams, and Holliston High School are encouraged to participate in the food drives that are conducted in the Holliston schools each year:
“March Mail” at Placentino
“Project 351” at Miller
“Battle of the Classes” at Holliston High School
“Food for friends”: neighborhood food drives (Ages 5-18)
Your child can make a big difference by organizing a “Food For Friends” neighborhood food drive. Any type of non-perishable food donations are welcome at the Pantry. Kids might also ask neighbors to consider donating items that children especially like, including: goldfish crackers, peanut butter, fruit snacks, taco shells, pretzels, apple sauce, granola bars, juice boxes, etc. Children can post signs and distribute flyers in mailboxes with the date of the food drive and requested items. We encourage kids and families to get creative with their food drives to engage kids and make your drive successful! Perhaps a child wants to set a goal of “number of items collected” or a “total weight” of food items to collect. Parents must accompany kids to help collect food items, otherwise a drop-off bin at a central location in the neighborhood works well, too.
We do ask that you contact us at the Pantry to let us know that you are planning a food drive so that we can add it to the calendar on our website.
Older students may want to make this into a larger project. For example, a middle school or high school student could arrange for a year-long monthly food drive in their neighborhood.
Kids can help “quality check” all the items by looking at expiration dates and ensuring that expired items are discarded. Pantry volunteers also double-check expiration dates of all donated food items.
Parents and children can deliver collected items to the Pantry during open hours. Please call us at the Pantry to schedule the time for your delivery so that we can be prepared. If the Pantry is not open, you can place items in the large plastic bin outside the Pantry. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need collection bins, or need help picking up a particularly large collection.
Become a “birthday bag buddy” (Ages 5-18)
Many of us take for granted that we will celebrate family birthdays with a cake and a party. Unfortunately, many families in Holliston struggle to meet basic food needs, and there is no room for birthday celebrations in the budget. Children as young as five years old can make a meaningful difference by assembling a “Birthday Bag” for Pantry patrons.
Birthday bag content may vary slightly, but typically include the following items:
• Birthday Bag or other container to hold supplies
• Cake Mix
• Table Cover
• Plastic utensils - Forks, Knives, Spoons in one package
• Small Party Favors
Birthday bags can easily be made at a cost of $15 or less per bag.
Some families choose to donate the funds to help their child purchase items to assemble a birthday bag. Other families work with their children to raise the money through collections, lemonade stands, or bake sales. One particularly generous and meaningful gesture is to ask guests for your own child’s birthday party to bring a birthday bag in lieu of a gift. Groups like Brownies, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and religious education groups are especially encouraged to work together to assemble more than one bag!
Older children may chose to make this into a larger personal project, perhaps setting a goal of assembling 12 birthday bags (one per month) over a year-long period.
Bags can be delivered to the Pantry during open hours.
become a “pantry kid philanthropist” (Ages 5-18)
The Pantry Shelf not only relies on food donations to stock our shelves, we also rely on financial contributions so that we can purchase grocery items such as milk, eggs, meat, cheese, produce, cereals, pastas, and so much more. Children can become “Pantry Kid Philanthropists” by raising money to donate to the Pantry. It’s a great way to teach children about the importance of charitable giving.
Here are some ideas for ways kids can raise funds and become “Pantry Kid Philanthropist”:
• Bake sale
• Car Wash
• Neighborhood/place of worship collection
• Lemonade Stand
• Tag Sale
• Donate a portion of their own allowance or earn money through special household tasks
• In lieu of gifts for a child’s birthday, request a donation to the Pantry
Parents and children can deliver the monetary proceeds to the Pantry during open hours or mail it to the Pantry.
Older children may set a fundraising goal for a 12 month period. During that period they can conduct multiple fundraising events to reach their goal.
“student pantry shift worker” (ages 16+)
Once a student turns 16, they are eligible to apply to work a 2-hour shift weekly or bi-weekly at the Pantry. These shifts are on Monday and Wednesday evenings between 4 and 6 pm. This is an excellent opportunity for responsible, kind, compassionate, and mature teens to have meaningful hands-on service experience directly serving neighbors in need. Applications for these positions are available each year on September 1st. Applications are emailed to all Holliston High School (HHS) juniors and seniors through the guidance department. Applications are also available at the high school guidance department. After reviewing applications and interviewing all applicants, the Holliston Pantry Shelf will select up to six students for these positions (four shift workers and two alternates). Holliston teen residents attending other schools may request an application by emailing email@example.com.
“Pantry Student board member” (ages 16+)
Each year, we select two students from the junior class at Holliston High School to serve a two year term as Student Board Members. This opportunity is ideal for students that have proven leadership abilities and are able to demonstrate a sincere commitment of service to the Pantry. These students will attend all Board Meetings, and serve as a liaison between the Holliston Pantry Shelf Board and the Holliston school system, organizing and executing food drives and special fundraising events. Applications for these positions are available each year September 1st. Applications for this position are sent to all Holliston High School (HHS) juniors through the guidance department.