Wellsboro school gives to food pantry

Wellsboro High School Principal Jeremy Byrd (left) gives more than $500 to Wellsboro Food Pantry coordinator Bill Yacovissi. The sum represents spare change collected by students and proceeds from an event hosted by the FFA group.

The Wellsboro High School adopted a theme “Generosity changes everything” for the 2019-20 school year.

From that theme came the idea to do a community outreach project for the Wellsboro Food Pantry. A donation jar, labeled “Change For Change,” was placed in the office for the students, faculty and parents to drop change into as they wanted.

From September to March, when schools were closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, more than $200 in change had been collected in the jar.

In addition, the Grand Canyon FFA chapter held a stall day to raise money for the “Change For Change” project during National FFA Week in February. Members encouraged their teachers and classmates to participate. Students would bring change to class, which teachers would then count, “stalling” the class until the change was counted. The change was then included in the donation.

FFA members also held a raffle during lunch that same week where students brought change in return for raffle tickets to win prizes such as Amazon gift cards. The chapter members were thrilled that the student body so actively participated in both these events and the generous donations for the “Change For Change” project.

Between the change jar and FFA activities, the Wellsboro High School students, faculty and staff raised and donated $574.72 to the Wellsboro Food Pantry.

Bill Yacovissi, coordinator of the Wellsboro Food Pantry, said the funds will be used to purchase produce. The local food pantry has seen an increase in people using the pantry, but has not been overwhelmed.

The pantry is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the second Monday and fourth Tuesday of each month in the lower level of the United Methodist Church, 36 Main St., Wellsboro.

In June, the pantry will hold a modified opening, where small groups will enter the facility with social distancing followed and sanitizing. For more information, visit wellsborofoodpantry.org or email wellsborofoodpantry@gmail.com.

The Grand Canyon FFA was also in competition with the Cowanesque Valley FFA during the week to raise the most food for a local food pantry. The Grand Canyon FFA was successful in winning the food drive this year.