Nashua football coach organizes food drive for those in need
NASHUA – Dante Laurendi had followed the news on television, social media or stories in newspapers and on the web.
The Nashua High School football coach noticed one major thing: There was a big local food shortage for those in need during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was sitting home watching the news, and what you keep seeing was ‘food shortage, food shortage,'” Laurendi said. “Everyone needed food.”
So Laurendi decided to send out an email to North football players and their parents to see if the program could help.
The result? Laurendi recently organized a food drive that allowed student athletes to deliver non-perishables to the locker room area at Nashua North. He also called one of his football assistants who also is the North varsity baseball coach, Zach Harris, to see if he could help and get the baseball players involved, and of course Harris got that done.
Next, Laurendi contacted the United Way of Nashua and that organization introduced him to the program End 68 Hours of Hunger, which focuses on food for school children who face food insecurity at home.
“In a two-day period we got a pretty good amount of food,” Laurendi said. “And it was really only related to the football and baseball kids.”
“He did a nice job,” Nashua athletic director Lisa Gingras said. “He collaborated with both the football team, baseball and the student leadership group.”
And, said Gingras, the whole thing was done safely.
“Absolutely,” she said. “It was done under social distancing. People just drove up, dropped the food off at the curb, and Dante picked it up.”
Laurendi said the response was so good, he plans on doing it again in the near future, and perhaps expand it.
“We’ll try to do it again,” he said. “The next thing would be to open it up to other North sports and then to the whole school.”
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