For the past three years, Meredith Winter ’11 has spearheaded Beaver’s food drive to benefit the Greater Boston Food Bank. On October 14, she was awarded the Nally Award from GBFB for her work. The award, given to a young person who performed extraordinary work in hunger relief, was presented to Meredith during GBFB’s annual Partner Appreciation Luncheon held at the Westin Copley Hotel in Boston.
During her time at Beaver, Meredith led the effort that collected over 3,000 pounds of food, which translated into about 2,400 meals for hungry people in the Boston area.
In her remarks, Meredith described how she got started working with GBFB and the Beaver food drive:
I want to thank my family and friends, who have joined us today and in particular, my grandparents and my parents. They brought me up to understand that we each have an obligation to help others; that no matter what goes on in our own lives there are many others whose lives are so much more difficult. And that we all must do something to help.
I also really want to thank my brother Evan. Three and a half years ago right after my freshman year and his junior one – my mother took us to visit the food bank. We toured the old warehouse and were shocked by the amount of food needed to feed hungry people in eastern MA every week – 83,000 people then and even more today.
I was overwhelmed and not really sure what we could do. Evan and I brainstormed to figure out ways to educate our classmates and create incentives to get them to participate. Without my older brother standing by my side for the first food drive I’m not sure I could have gotten up to speak in front of the whole school. But by the time he left for senior project that year I was in charge of helping the middle school run their drive and then organized the food drives for the next two years. So thank you Evan for helping me to develop the confidence that I could do this on my own.
I also want to thank the faculty and students at my high school, Beaver Country Day, who understood what we were trying to do and stepped up to the plate. Since then they have committed to continuing the Food Bank drives even though I have graduated and gone on to Boston College. I do plan to come back to Beaver to help them and I am proud that my alma mater will be an annual contributor to the food bank for years to come…
So, the message I would like to leave you with today is:
Hunger is a reversible problem.
Each and every one of us can do something about it. And, it is not that hard. It just takes commitment.
What first looked impossible to me, a young teenager, became possible.
And I hope I have been able to pass that understanding onto other young people. So, all of us can be part of an effort to make sure that those in need are never hungry again.
Photo: Meredith Winter ’11 (center) receives the Nally Award from GBFB President and CEO Catherine D’Amato and Board Chairman Phil Licari.