For two weeks over winter break, AAPS students who are eligible for free or reduced lunch or breakfast must do without that little extra help.
That bothered Pioneer High School class secretary Taryn Reid.
“I don’t think people realize the impact that has on a family budget,” she said.
And so four years ago—when she was a contract employee running Pioneer’s discipline program—she decided to take up a collection to distribute food baskets for students whose families could really use help during the break.
“The object of the program was to give them food for the two weeks they’re there, and try to get them re-energized when they come back in the new year, with finals,” said Reid.
This is the first year she partnered with several PHS clubs, including the National Honor Society, The Interact Club, Student Council, Community Assistants, and The Orientation Guide to hold a canned food drive, which significantly boosted the $1,500 provided by the school’s PTSO.
That meant that 30 families were helped, or about 50 students total.
“It seems like a really small amount, but each year I try to do a little more than the last,” she said.
Maintenance staff picked up the 301 items at Sam’s Club, students assembled the bags, which were distributed last week to students referred to the program by Pioneer staff.
Boxes included milk, eggs, bacon, cereal, canned food, and more.
Several people in the community donated gift cards, which were a big help, said Reid, who worked on the project with Sarah Blacksher, Community Assistant paraprofessional.