The Wayne Education Association is always looking for ways to aid the local community. Recently, the pandemic has escalated economic hardship for many of our Wayne families. This has increased the need to support programs like the Wayne Council of PTO’s food bank. Our Association was glad to partner with the PTO again this year to help provide necessary grocery and toiletry items for the pantry. Getting the actual items to them proved to be a wild little journey...

In early December, I started working with Lisa Apa, one of the heads of the PTO food bank, to find out what types of items were needed. Once the virtual ShopRite cart was filled, we had to coordinate the order with ShopRite, the high school schedule, and my own elementary schedule to ensure the delivery could be made. After working out a day and time- we were snowed out! We went back to the drawing board to find new option after new option, and our next few attempts always had something interfere: high cases, unexpected virtual days, no delivery slots, and even *more snow*!

Finally, on February 16- over two months later- everything aligned. It was truly the first day that the sun came out and the weather was energizing and warm. I met Lisa at Wayne Hills and we filled two trips of overflowing shopping carts with the donated items: shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, oatmeal, rice, jelly, oil, canned tuna, pasta sauce, coffee, tea, even animal crackers. Lisa shared with me that the WEA donation helped the pantry shelves go from sparse to fully stocked with many of the items families needed. She also confirmed that the PTO volunteers were able to fulfill the orders of many, many Wayne families.

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It was overwhelming to be a part of helping make this donation happen, especially since I know it has helped so many of our students’ families. The Wayne Education Association is grateful that we were able to partner with the Wayne Council of PTOs to help our community.

If you would like to make a donation to the food bank, please contact them at foodbankwaynepto@gmail.com . If you are in need and live in Wayne, your school nurse can provide you with more information on how to access the food bank.