Last year, Delran High School junior Michael Carnivale sought a way to fulfill some requirements.
Not only was he a National Honor Society member, but in order to graduate, he had to complete a number of community-service hours. His mother Michelle was notified by a family friend of the need at Catholic Charities Emergency Services in Burlington for food donations.
“He wanted to do more,” Michelle said.
That was in November of last year, right before Thanksgiving, one of the most frequent times of the year for food deprivation. Carnivale shifted his focus to that cause and has now embarked on his second food drive, advertising online to family and friends. An initial Facebook post spread like wildfire.
“I was thinking of the best ways that I could help benefit society,” Carnivale recalled. “After talking with our family friend, it ended up being a perfect fit and a great idea. This was really the first canned food drive that I could participate in and be active in.”
Carnivale received physical and monetary donations and ended up with several trunk loads of canned goods and other food last year. That has continued into this year, with the collection of food beginning earlier to net more at the end.
Carnivale continues to advertise on social media, including Facebook, but he has also reached out to the high-school community.
“When people see us in person, they’ve given us money to go out and buy canned goods,” he noted. “We also have put bins out in front of our house for people to drop off their donations.”
Carnivale hopes to continue his initiative through college and beyond – long after those early commitments sent him in search of a cause.