EAST students provide meals for the holidays

The Wooten’s Helping Hands Food Pantry always has food available for students or even parents to pick up food for their families. The pantry is run and managed by E.A.S.T. students.

In years past, the students in charge have done two food drives. One for Thanksgiving and one for Christmas. This year, the students wanted to try to do one.

“We’re trying to make it a Thanksgiving-Christmas food drive all in one, so they get the same amount of food just at once,” junior Kaitlynn Gollnick said.

The reason she wants to try to only do one drive is so the SROs and local police department only have to deliver the food once.

“We pack all the bags that are supposed to go to families,” senior Edwin Orellana said, “Ask for the address and how many people are in their family and based on that we have our SROs and local police department devlieve those bags.”

The bags are packed the last day of school before Thanksgiving break. They are able to buy food for the families because they received a grant from the PTSO.

“The grant was for two thousand dollars,” Orellana said, “We had to do some paperwork and a few presentations to the PTSO board and the principals and explain why that grant will be helpful to our school.”

The unloading of the truck and the packing of bags begins at six in the morning. It’s completely voluntary. Junior Natalie Herrera volunteered.

“It makes me feel really good because I know that I’m helping a family that might be able to have stuff to eat during the holidays,” said Herrera.

Another E.A.S.T project that can help families is the help sheet.

“So the help sheet is spreadsheet filled with names of places with addresses and phone numbers and hours of which they’re open so, that we can give it out to people so they can get assistance and whatever they need,” Gollnick said.

Gollnick is hoping this year’s food drive will bring attention to Wooten’s Helping Hands.

“And of course we’re just to make it where Wooten’s gives out food all the time,” Gollnick said, “We always have bags up here.”

Students from other schools are welcome to use the food pantry if they need it.

“They would just have to get in contact with the counselor at Her-Ber or an E.A.S.T.  students so that we can let them have access to them,” Herrera said. “All the E.A.S.T. teachers know about it and if they know everyone that needs help that can tell them can it.”

The food bags are located in three different places throughout the school, in the office, by the buses, and by the library.

“It’s a great feeling overall especially because I used to be that person that needed the associates,” Gollnick said.