Community delivers holiday meals

Youth. Every year the Pope John XXIII community gather Thanksgiving meal food items and deliver them. This year they seem to have broken their own record of items collected and distributed. At left, Evan Rizzo with Amber Turner.

26 Nov 2019 | 02:16

Pope John XXIII Regional High School community collected 451 turkeys and 140 food baskets to 11 local churches and volunteer organizations in the area, and helped out Straight and Narrow in Paterson as part of the school's annual efforts.

The school has conducted the Thanksgiving food drive for 47 years. Each year, the seniors bring in turkeys, while the juniors, sophomores, freshmen and eighth grade students bring in canned vegetables, soups, meats and sauces plus pasta and pies.

In addition, some seniors are given the responsibility to deliver the baskets and some juniors are tasked with packing the cars.

“This has to be a record day, especially with the number of turkeys,” said Pope John Director of Curriculum Brian Vohden, who has been coordinating the drive along with the Theology department since 2011.

Like most years, the students began packing the baskets on Monday, going door-to-door in each of the nine Theology classrooms. Then on Tuesday, the students loaded the turkeys and baskets into the cars.

Senior students delivered baskets and turkeys to: Our Lady Queen of Peace (Branchville), Immaculate Conception Church (Franklin), Our Lady of Fatima (Highland Lakes), St. Jude the Apostle Parish (Hamburg), St. Jude Parish (Hopatcong), Our Lady Star of the Sea (Lake Hopatcong), Our Lady of the Lake (Mount Arlington), Samaritan Inn (Newton), St. Thomas (Oak Ridge), Straight and Narrow (Paterson), St. Thomas the Apostle (Sandyston), and Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Swartswood).