Student Club on Mission to Combat Hunger

As Hanna Schiciano ’23 sees it, the need to start the Feeding Westchester at Masters Club was clear: “There is no vaccine to alleviate hunger.” 

The determined junior created and co-chairs the club with Maddy Israel ’23. Together with 15 student members, they have been volunteering monthly at the Mount Kisco Food Pantry assisting with everything from stocking shelves to food distribution.

“This volunteer work is exactly what Masters encourages all its students to do: to be a power for good in the world. That’s a very powerful message to me,” Schiciano said.

Israel calls the work life-changing and, in many ways, deeply personal. “Most of my great-grandparents and grandparents were either Holocaust survivors or immigrants, who knew what it was like to be hungry,” she shared. “I feel it is my duty to them to help those in need, in whatever way I can, because I can.”

The students recently collected $1,000 in gift cards from local grocery stores to purchase food for Meals-4-Kids, an initiative of the Feeding Westchester organization that supports children facing food insecurity in the county. 

Next Wednesday in the Fonseca Center, club members will pack 500 breakfast bags for children in need. Area supermarkets including Stop & Shop, Decicco & Sons and Foodtown have generously donated to the cause. 

“By packing these bags we will be able to support a lot of kids in need and help them not to be hungry because that's something that nobody should have to face,” Schiciano explained.

Faculty advisor Eric Shear said the club “has been doing an awesome job shining a light on a problem that is not commonly talked about in Westchester” and credits Schiciano and Israel for their efforts. “They have provided a hands-on and meaningful experience for their peers,” he said. “I have been really proud of all the work they have put in.”

Schiciano is no stranger to giving back. This past year, she raised more than $12,000 for Feeding Westchester through ongoing sales of baked goods and yard signs. By starting a club at school, she was able to mobilize more help and raise more awareness for a cause she takes seriously.

“We’re not close to alleviating hunger and that’s what keeps me going,” she said. “There are so many people in Westchester who really need our help.”

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