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Way to Go: Veronica Wetzel, Massapequa

Veronica Wetzel of Massapequa High School organized a

Veronica Wetzel of Massapequa High School organized a food drive to benefit the pantry at St. William the Abbot Roman Catholic Church in Seaford. Photo Credit: Massapequa School District

A Massapequa High School sophomore has helped make holiday meals more plentiful for dozens of local families in need.

Veronica Wetzel, 15, held a food drive that brought in enough items to aid more than 200 less-fortunate families in her community. The nonperishable goods, from canned soup to a 20-pound bag of rice, benefited the pantry at St. William the Abbot Roman Catholic Church in Seaford.

In carrying out the effort, Wetzel went door-to-door to about 400 houses within a half-mile radius of her block last month, distributing fliers that listed desired items. She returned the next week to pick up bags and boxes of food. Her father, Ralph, pitched in to help.

“I just collect the food,” Wetzel said. “It’s my neighbors who were amazingly generous.”

She said her family even found bags of donations on their front stoop from neighbors who were concerned they would forget to put them out on the pickup date.

This was the third year that Wetzel has held a food drive.

“Keeping our pantry stocked year-round for those who need us the most is hard enough,” said Rosemary Graziano, director of the church’s social ministry office. “But it’s most challenging around the holidays when these people feel forgotten about. Veronica’s drive really makes a positive impact.”

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