Canterbury students participated in the Walk a Mile for a Meal event on Sunday, September 19, to benefit the New Milford Food Bank. The event takes place annually in September to bring awareness to Hunger Action Month, which encourages people to share, volunteer, pledge, fundraise, and donate to combat hunger. Day and boarding students organized groups to purchase food at the New Milford Big Y Supermarket and then walk it one mile to the Congregational Church on the Village Green for it to be donated to the Food Bank. Canterbury has been supporting and participating in Walk A Mile for over three decades. This year, the School donated 144 pounds of food, 31 pounds of pet food, 46 personal care items, and 20 reusable bags.
Tracy Garcia-LaVigne, Director of the D’Amour Center for Faith, Service & Justice at Canterbury, helps organize the School’s participation in the event each year and sees it as a great opportunity to serve and connect with the greater community. “We look forward to this event every year. It is the first opportunity of the school year for students to join with our local community and support social services by donating much-needed items to refill the food bank shelves.” She continued, “Being able to participate in this act of solidarity and bring attention to the needs of our surrounding community, especially during Hunger Action Month, is a meaningful opportunity for our students. They are able to experience the outpouring of compassion and sense of community that makes New Milford such a wonderful town. We are always humbled by the work and dedication of our community partners who so generously give of themselves and welcome us in sharing opportunities to grow more connected to our surrounding community.”
Sacristan Katelynn Pizzano ’22 took part in the event and emphasized the importance of being active in the New Milford community. “The Walk A Mile event is a great opportunity to give back to our local community. It recognizes the struggle many people have to go through each day in order to meet their basic needs. I have been fortunate to be able to participate in Walk A Mile each of my four years at Canterbury, and I think it is something that every student should do. Actively participating in service in our local town of New Milford is important and a meaningful way to give back to our own community.”
The Walk A Mile event is one of many community service opportunities off the hilltop that Canterbury students participate in annually. This November, students, faculty, and staff will participate in the Oxfam Hunger Banquet, which highlights issues of injustice and inequality in access to food resources, as well as an Oxfam Fast on Thanksgiving Day. Groups will also run a food drive for New Milford Social Services leading up to Thanksgiving.