After spending a morning together, NDP students and their parents, who were on campus as part of our Catholic Schools Week Parent Visit Day—filed into the cafeteria to enjoy a special service tradition marking its 25th year: Pasta for the Philippines.
Began in 1993, Pasta for the Philippines originated to fulfill the promise NDP teacher Mr. Jeff Goethals made to his friend, Father Jacques Desmet. Father Jacques was the chaplain of Saint Louis College, a Catholic university in Tuguegarao, the Philippines, with affiliated schools for teens and the hearing impaired. At that time, Father Jacques organized a nutrition program providing no-cost lunches for needy students at the Saint Louis High School and the School for the Hearing Impaired. Mr. Goethals promised to support the initiative, and armed with a recipe for fabulous tomato sauce, started the spaghetti fundraiser.
For 25 years, faculty and staff have assisted Mr. Goethals and his wife, Felicitas or “Felie,” in the NDP kitchen cutting bread, boiling noodles, and readying serving stations for hundreds of hungry people. This year, Humanities students made the sauce. At lunchtime, students, parents, faculty, and staff filled the cafeteria, coming together in support of Catholic brothers and sisters on the other side of the globe.
Through the simple act of preparing and sharing a meal, the NDP community has raised more than $67,000 over the last 25 years, which has provided nearly 500,000 meals—a school year’s worth of lunches every year for 25 years—for the students in the program. An average of 120-135 students participates in the program each day, one-third of whom are hearing impaired.
Pasts for the Philippines shows no signs of slowing down! We hope you’re ready to join NDP and get your daily dose of carbohydrates on “pasta day” for many years to come.