Local family kicks off Reverse Advent Calendar Food Drive

  • Jack Aliprandi, second from right, and classmates from St. Raymond's School helped collect donations during last year's food drive.

    Jack Aliprandi, second from right, and classmates from St. Raymond's School helped collect donations during last year's food drive. Courtesy of Jim Mitchell

  • Jack Aliprandi with some of the donations collected during last year's Reverse Advent Calendar Food Drive.

    Jack Aliprandi with some of the donations collected during last year's Reverse Advent Calendar Food Drive. Courtesy of Jim Mitchell

 
Submitted by Jim Mitchell
Updated 11/24/2020 1:35 PM

Jack Aliprandi, a local eighth-grade student at St. Raymond's School, is leading a Reverse Advent Calendar Food Drive for the second consecutive year with the help of his mom, Lisa Eckert Aliprandi.

While a traditional Advent calendar counts down the 24 days to Christmas by revealing a small treat, the Aliprandis are asking local families to donate (rather than receive) a food item each day in the month of December leading up to Christmas.

 

"This year has been very difficult for many people," Jack said. "I hope this food drive not only brings joy to the families in need in our community, but also to the people donating and giving back."

When participants register, they will be given a list of 24 food items such as canned fruit and vegetables, pasta and granola bars to donate.

Families are asked to find a sturdy bag or box and add one item from the list to the box or bag each day. The bags or boxes can then be dropped off at the Arlington Heights Knights of Columbus Hall, 15 N. Hickory Ave., from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, or 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 16.

Participants can also donate $25, which will be used to purchase gift cards to local grocery stores. Collected items will be donated to the Mount Prospect Food Pantry, Northwest Compass and Journeys | The Road Home.

"With the COVID pandemic, more people in our community are in line at local food pantries -- some for the first time in their lives," said Jack's mom, Lisa Eckert Aliprandi. "The increased demand has many organizations struggling to keep the shelves stocked, so we hope to alleviate some of that stress by getting the community involved."

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Last year, more than 75 families participated in the food drive and many students at St. Raymond's volunteered to help collect donations on the designated drop-off days.

"The Reverse Advent Calendar is a great way for the whole family to spend time together giving back," said Jack. "Kids can include a note with good wishes for the new year or a drawing for the families who will receive these food items."

Participants are asked to register online so appropriate help can be organized for the drop-off days. To learn more or sign up for the Reverse Advent Calendar Food Drive, visit www.aliprandifamilyfooddrive.com.

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