ANDOVER — Superintendent John Lavoie reports that Greater Lawrence Tech has donated more than 1,400 pounds of food to Neighbors in Need and thousands of pieces of medical supplies to area health care facilities since the school closed due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) earlier this month.
Neighbors in Need provides food to people in need throughout the Greater Lawrence area through 13 food pantries.
“The COVID-19 crisis has changed so much in recent weeks in our communities, and doing what we can to support each other is critical,” Superintendent Lavoie said. “When we realized we had food that could be donated to those at Neighbors in Need, and medical supplies that could help our health care professionals protect themselves and their patients, we took immediate action.”
Greater Lawrence Tech donated 256 pounds of cabbage and carrots the weekend prior to St. Patrick’s Day, March 13-14, which was initially intended for a boiled dinner at the school that was cancelled. On Friday, March 20, Greater Lawrence Tech donated additional food from the school’s cafeteria and the student-operated Four Winds Restaurant, including approximately 1,200 pounds of fruits, vegetables, dairy products and other perishable items.
“We are grateful for this generous donation of food at a time when the continuation of our food pantries is critical,“ said Linda Zimmerman, executive director of Neighbors In Need. “This food will be going right out to the families we serve at our 13 weekly food pantry locations. By Friday, we served 600 families – and we expect this number to climb. To keep up with our evolving pantry schedule go to our website needfood.org “
Greater Lawrence Tech additionally donated 5,000 gloves, 100 Tyvex suits, 400 isolation gowns, 15 boxes of sterile gloves, 100 face shields, 20 respirator masks, 100 N95 masks and cases of medical cleaning wipes to the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center on Friday. The school additionally donated cases of anti bacterial wipes and safety goggles to Lawrence General Hospital on Tuesday.
“Greater Lawrence Family Health Center and Greater Lawrence Technical School have been strong community partners for many years, and the Health Center currently operates a school based health center site at the school. It goes without saying that this partnership remains strong in meeting the healthcare needs of the students, but also in a time of crisis like this. These items are at all-time premium right now for healthcare providers both locally and nationally, and the needs to protect our staff, clinicians and patients at GLFHC are no different and for that we are most grateful for this donation,” said Richard Napolitano, senior vice president and external relations/chief marketing and development officer at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. “Thanks to the generosity of GLTS Superintendent John Lavoie and his outstanding team, our staff and clinicians can continue to provide the care needed by our patients in a safe, protected environment.”
The donations were made possible by administrators, faculty and staff who volunteered to help package and organize the food and medical supplies.