PTSA, ASB organize food drive, distribution

Food drive supports HHS families in need

Members of the PTSA and ASB partnered up to host a canned food and other necessities drive to give back to the community Nov. 1-5. This event brought students an opportunity to give back to the community and a chance for students and the PTSA to collaborate,  PTSA president Vicki Nahrung said. 

This food drive follows the three successful collections and distributions that occurred last school year, Nahrung said.

“The idea for a food drive started when the PTSA president asked me, ‘what are the needs of some of our students?’ and I realized that some of the students are struggling financially,” Rocio Stavoli, who helps with food distribution and contacting families, said. “I felt that giving and helping them with food would be a good way to help those families.”

SATURDAY MORNING COLLECTION: members of the Homestead community drop off canned foods, peanut butter and other non-perishable food items. (Photo courtesy of Mako Yamanaka)

Roopa Kirshanan, PTSA executive vice president and volunteer coordinator, said the preliminary planning began in September but more concrete plans were made in mid-October. 

During the first week of the food drive, ASB aimed to involve students in the food drive  by encouraging them, through communication in the morning announcements, to donate items during their second period class that would go to points for their assigned team, ASB intra-district council commissioner Martin Wu said.

“ASB’s role is collecting items such as cans, personal care items as well as monetary donations that will go towards these food pantry packages that the PTSA will be preparing for Homestead families to pick up,” senior Wu said.

After the student drive week and Saturday collection, the PTSA collected 1,500 canned foods, 110 bags of dried beans, 55 boxes of pasta and over 65 bags of rice, Krishnan said in an email.

 Krishnan said he was pleasantly surprised by the number  of ASB volunteers that came and impressed by the work ethic of the student volunteers. 

“It’s good to do something with students that’s not just for the students,” Nahrung said. “Often we contribute resources and plan events for the students, but this is actually achieving something together that benefits the community.” 

After putting in many hours into planning and executing the event, Stavoli said the faces of families picking up the packages makes it all worth it. 

 “All the hard work is going to pay off when they [the families] come and pick it [the items] up. It’s rewarding when you see families come and they are excited,” Stavoli said. “They’re happy. They talk to you.”

Families who are volunteering or donating also benefit from the experience and in the end feel a sense of camaraderie, Nahrung said.

“We got so many items, and I am blown away by the generosity of our community,” Krishnan said.