“Fuel For Friends” Feeding Hungry

By J.D. O’Gara
Children Throughout Local Communities
Issue Date: 
October, 2017
Article Body: 

Fuel for Friends a local group consisting of 11 Hopedale students and women, has been very busy this summer making and donating packages with healthy nonperishable food items to help feed hungry children. The group that was started by Hopedale resident of 25 years, Amy Wersted and Senior at Hopedale High School Megan McLellan, was initially intended to bring attention to the similarities between children with eating disorders and hungry school children. However, over the past few months has become so much more.
Outside of Wersted and McLellan, the group also includes students, Rachel Szemethy, Katherine Mooney and Lydia Gould as well as adults Joan Szemethy, Susan Frongillo, Sara Gould, Kristin MacEachern, Jocelyne Fauerbach, and June Gould.  “Megan and I know people with eating disorders, so we wanted to start a group that would merge feeding the hungry with eating disordered people. “We reached out to Walden in Milford and Worcester. They put flyers up, and we had hopes that those with eating disorders would join us and learn more about how hunger effects them.” said Wersted. The packages consist of several items; water, canned peaches, raisins, granola bars, pretzels, peanut butter crackers and more.
As of now, the group has donated 100 packages to the Medway shelter which has 12 families in need, and 250 packages to the Boston Family Children and Youth Center who recently delivered their packages to the Houston Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
Over the summer the group held a yard sale where everyone in the group donated items and they raised $250 to help their cause. “The proceeds from the yard sale enabled us to donate $150 to the United Way in Framingham where they held lunch for school children every day during the whole summer. Each $50 helped a number of children and teens get at least one square meal during the summer when they wouldn’t otherwise have gotten food at home.” said Wersted.
Lastly, each of these amazing women all carry some bags in their cars in case they come across a homeless or hungry person on the streets.
Co-Founder Amy Wersted is a tennis instructor. She loves tennis, running, kayaking, nature and staying active. Her husband teaches math at BVT, her son teaches History at Hopedale High School and her daughter is a hairdresser. “I’ve always taught my kids to be charitable and help those who are less fortunate.” said Wersted.
Co-Founder Megan McLellan plays varsity field hockey and varsity tennis for Hopedale High School.  She participates in student council and is a member of the National Honor Society. “I feel really blessed to be able to go to a school like Hopedale and to be able to help others less fortunate than myself.“ said McLellan.
Lydia Gould who was the inspiration in coming up with the name “Fuel for Friends”, is a Freshman at BVT who likes acting, photography, drawing and cooking when she is not volunteering her time for Fuel for Friends.
Rachel Szemethy, a Senior at Hopedale High School who created the logo for Fuel with Friends, which is a heart shaped apple with a bite taken out of it, is involved in the community by interning for stage crew, playing varsity tennis, a National Honor Society member, a volunteer for empty bowls project/art club, RSVP leader and a student council member. She plans to attend art school next fall to study design. 
Katherine Mooney is a Freshman at Hopedale High School. She plays on the JV soccer team and the Varsity tennis team. She loves listening to music and reading.