Machine Technology students win Canned Food Drive for a fifth year

Students in our Machine Technology program have big hearts when it comes to helping others through our annual Canned Food Drive. They have won it five out of six years since it started in 2010. To celebrate their charitable work of bringing in 378 cans of food, students were treated to a breakfast of Heavenly Donuts, hot chocolate, juice, bagels, and muffins the day before the winter break.

The drive did not exist for two years in 2013 and 2014 when the teacher who launched it, Michelle Valhouli, left to take another job. It was started up again in 2015 by Health and Physical Education Teacher Roxanne Grover, and that was the only year Machine Tech did not win -- when Auto Tech students got their name engraved on the plaque.

The food -- more than 800 cans and packages -- is donated to area food pantries, and Machine Technology students say they are enthusiastic about the project for a number of reasons. "I know there are a lot of people who may look like they are ok," said Freshman Kyle Demers of Methuen, "But they may really be in need of food and clothing, and I like to give back, even in a small way."

Junior Napoleon Alejandro of Haverhill said he was happy to donate because he knows a family friend who will benefit.  "My mom knows someone who can't afford to buy food for her family and uses the food pantry, so it will help her, too."

Junior Andrei Allen of West Newbury said, "I like to help people in need who don't have what I have." Junior Colin Bowes of Salisbury agreed. "It's easy to want to help others who cannot afford food, especially around the holidays." 

Junior Chris Pelletier of Amesbury said, "You may never know it, but someone you are sitting next to in class may not get three meals a day because their parents may not have jobs."

Machine Technology Instructors are Bruce Boisselle and Paul Moskevitz. Students are: Courtland Pelletier, Owen Hergel, Bryan Richards, Justice Rodriguez, Joshua Rousseau, Christian Saulnier, Sabrina Stubbs, Benjamin Szydlo, Nickson To, Cameron Vasquez, Carole Vega Vale, James Clark, Kerry Erler, Colby Hathaway, Samuel Brindle, Napoleon Alejandro, Andrei Allen, Kurt Bergman, Colin Bowes, Kyle Demers, Nathan Gelineau, Ryan McCraven, Christopher Pelletier, Izayah Stevens, Michael Dondero and Owen Sevene.

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Whittier Tech