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Hampton/Shaler

Blessed Trinity Academy student collects for food drive

| Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, 1:33 a.m.
Xander Hill, a Blessed Trinity Academy eighth-grader from Shaler, is collecting food donations for Etna’s Bread of Life Food Pantry.
Xander Hill, a Blessed Trinity Academy eighth-grader from Shaler, is collecting food donations for Etna’s Bread of Life Food Pantry.

Blessed Trinity Academy eighth-grader Xander Hill is thankful that he and his family will share a Thanksgiving dinner. He is working to provide local families with the same opportunities.

Xander of Shaler is collecting food, grocery-store gift cards and monetary donations for families who use Etna’s Bread of Life Food Pantry.

“I volunteer at the food pantry, and I feel like it was a nice thing to do for them since it was a great program and I feel like it’s very good for people,” he said.

Alexis Weber, pantry manager, said Xander will place the donated turkeys and sides inside baskets, creating meal kits for recipient families.

“We serve between 100 and 120 families a month — what we’re going to do is a raffle so that everyone has an equal chance to receive that dinner,” she said.

Xander is requesting the following items: 12- to 18-pound turkeys, cranberry sauce, gravy, green beans, other canned vegetables, dinner rolls, 10-pound bags of potatoes, pies and butter.

The donation deadline is Nov. 19 at the pantry, 94 Locust St. Donors should denote that the items are part of Xander’s project.

Weber said that Xander has been a “blessing” during his years of service at the pantry.

“He was just always, you know, volunteering, helping people, helping them shop, helping them load stuff into their cars,” she said. “I just wish all young people would do something like this. It doesn’t have to be as big a project as Xander’s, but there is such a need.”

Xander has spread the word about his food drive through word-of-mouth and posts on his mother’s Facebook page.

“I was doing 14 (meals) to begin with, but it’s constantly getting bigger and bigger from friends and family donating things, and I would like to say thank you to them because I am very grateful for it,” he said, noting that his new goal is to gather 20 meals.

Xander’s mother, Amy, said that she and his father, Mark, are impressed with his efforts.

“It makes my husband and I very proud of Xander for giving back to others in need because we are very fortunate and very blessed in our own lives. It’s wonderful to see such a young person so thoughtful.”

Bread of Life Food Pantry is a ministry of Calvert Memorial Presbyterian Church. Weber said that the pantry is a Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank member organization. The pantry serves residents from the 15215 and 15223 zip codes.

For more information: www.boletna.org.

Erica Cebzanov is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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