Superintendent Jeffrey Szymaniak and Duval Elementary School Principal Dr. Darlene Foley are pleased to announce that Duval students made a generous donation of food to the Whitman Food Pantry as part of the school's Holiday Food Drive.
Staff from the food pantry picked up the donation at the school Friday, Dec. 11, which included more than 500 pounds of food.
Students at the school collected the donations over a two-week period. Families of hybrid students sent in donations with their children, and remote families were able to arrange a pick-up with the Duval PTO or drop food off at the school’s main office.
The Holiday Food Drive is an annual tradition at the school.
“Seeing as how most of these kids are only in-person two days a week, we were hoping we would still be able to donate a fair amount to the food pantry this year,” said PTO parent Kimberly Sarhanis. “But we should have known that the Duval community would not let this difficult year get in the way, and instead they pulled out an amazing, generous donation of 500 pounds of food.”
Several Student Council members assisted Whitman Food Pantry staff with Friday's pick-up, helping sort and load the shelf-stable food onto a truck. Those members include Joshua Ahola, Jackson Barbosa, Meriem Fleury, Izobel Gilchrist, Alayna Loring, Tristan Lacandula, Isabella Mateus, Sabrina Spadorcia and Maxwell Sarhanis.
Student Council members are from Grade 5, and an important part of their role is to build a sense of community and be actively involved. Events such as the Holiday Food Drive provide these students, as well as the entire Duval student body, with a perfect opportunity to see how their efforts can have a positive impact.
“As always, I am incredibly proud of our students and grateful to the Duval community for pulling this drive together under these unprecedented circumstances,” Principal Foley said. “This time of year it is important to help those in need, and we are excited to be able to make this sizable donation to the Whitman Food Pantry again this year.”