Spotlight: HaddonFEED

Spotlight: HaddonFEED
A junior at Haddonfield Memorial High School, Charlie Dietz felt compelled to try and help the local community manage through the rough times caused by the pandemic. He gathered some friends and devised a plan they thought would have an impact. But he never thought it would grow to be this big.
 
After gathering some friends together, Haddonfield’s Charlie Dietz and other young volunteers devised a plan to parade around the area in cars to collect items to donate to the Food Bank of South Jersey. The crew decided to call the project HaddonFEED.
 
“We figured if we had a name it would be easier for people to remember the parade and what we were doing,” Dietz says. “We were brainstorming ideas for names and HaddonFEED is what me and my dad came up with. We were sitting at the kitchen table and we just put HaddonFEED together and figured that was it and it stuck.”
 
The group used social media, flyers and word of mouth to spread news about the event and then decorated seven cars that drove around different neighborhoods to pick up bags of food left at the curb. For Dietz, it was a special moment to see the whole thing come together and be so well-received.
 
“You don’t have to plan a whole giant food drive but any small way that you can help people, especially in times like this, is really a big difference,” he says.
 
Dietz wanted to set a high goal to see if it would give people incentive to donate more. Their goal was to collect over 5,000 items and they got close, ultimately securing 4,400 donations.
 
“That was a much bigger turnout than what we expected,” Dietz says. “We were really grateful for the town and everyone who donated food.”
 
The success of the project has inspired Dietz and his peers to plan an even bigger event during their senior year and hopefully seeing the tradition carry on well into the future, even after the pandemic subsides since food insecurity is unfortunately not a new issue.

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“We plan on doing it again and getting more cars,” he says. “We all have younger siblings coming into the high school. We plan to pass it onto them and other kids at the high school so they can continue the legacy.”

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Published and copyrighted in South Jersey Magazine, Volume 17, Issue 10 (January 2021).


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Author: South Jersey Magazine

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