PCSD students, staff give back to community with annual PEA Food Drive
November 18, 2019
The holiday season is the perfect time to give thanks and give back.
Every year, students, families and staff get into the giving spirit and generously donate to the annual Parma Education Association Food Drive. All donations directly benefit those in need in the communities Parma City School District proudly serves.
The PEA Food Drive is a long-standing tradition in the PCSD, and this year, the district-wide collection was held from November 1 – 8.
On November 8, schools dropped off their donations to the Parma Hunger Center located at the Parma Lutheran Church. PEA and PTA volunteers sorted, packaged and labeled all donations for families.
“The food drive was amazing this year,” expressed Will Olexa, a third-grade teacher at Green Valley Elementary School and the community relations chair for PEA. “Some standout donations came from Hillside Middle School and Pleasant Valley Elementary School with at least three to four carloads each. All other schools had at least two carloads.”
With these plentiful and benevolent donations, 67 families received six boxes of a variety of food including two boxes of vegetables, one box of soup, one box of starches, one box of fruit/dessert and one box of meats/proteins. Each family also received a bag of supplies like paper towels, toilet paper and tissues and a $20 Giant Eagle gift card.
Over 400 boxes of food were donated to families to help them have a full pantry during the winter months.
“PEA does this in an effort to bring the school community together and support those who live in our community,” Olexa shared. “It is important to give back because it gives us a chance to help those we go to school with and numerous others in the community. The event gives students a chance to see their kindness in action.”
Students and staff not only donated food but also made posters, helped pack items and even held contests and competitions to help make the food drive a success.
One student at Hillside donated over 100 cans of food and other non-perishable food items in just one day!
“The outpouring of food donations, monetary giving and helping hands was remarkable,” he conveyed. “It is a fabulous and fulfilling feeling to see all the donations come in year after year. It makes me proud of all those who helped through donating, giving time, promoting, collecting, sorting and organizing at the building levels.”
Families can get help year-round at the Parma Hunger Center. For more information, please call (216) 351-6376.
“The need is great is Parma, Parma Heights and Seven Hills and the assistance is greatly appreciated,” Olexa expressed. “I am proud to be part of such a kind and thoughtful school district.”