Salem State Preschool collects canned goods for Salem Food Pantry

Salem State Preschool collects canned goods

The Salem State University Preschool held its annual food drive November 14-18 to benefit the Salem Food Pantry. Preschool students, staff and parent volunteers coordinated this year’s preschool food drive in conjunction with the civic engagement committee of the university’s Student Government Association (SGA).

The preschool collected more than 363 food and toiletry items through donations from their families and solicitations by the children of Salem State University faculty and staff at the South Campus. To maximize the number of donations gathered, the preschool children personalized their solicitations by rehearsing their lines prior to asking for donations.

Thomas Durfee, who serves on the SGA’s civic engagement committee, joined the children, teachers and parents as they collected, and packed up all the donations for transportation to a central collection point on campus from which all donated food will be sent to the Salem Food Pantry.

“This food drive is the first of many community service projects coordinated by the preschool,” said Beverly Gerson, its director. “We also do a hat and mitten drive, and a book drive. All of the community service activities we do, such as the food drive, support the philosophy and mission of our school, allows our children to have fun and learn, and keeps us involved with Salem State’s overall civic engagement efforts.”

When asked what she liked most about participating in the food drive, one of the preschool children announced, “I liked it because I liked helping other people!”

The Salem State Preschool is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The Preschool follows a Reggio-based curriculum, which focuses on project work and documentation, along with developing social competency skills. For more information about the Salem State Preschool, visit

Photo: Children from the Salem State University Preschool are delighted with the canned goods they receive from Jeanne Rankin in the university’s institutional advancement area.