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Pine Island Elementary School, Pine Island Food Pantry teaming up to feed the hungry on the islands

Students collecting nonperishable items

By Special to The Eagle - | Mar 3, 2021


As the needs remain great, Pine Island Elementary School students are holding a contest by classroom to collect nonperishable food and personal care items needed for families living on Pine Island and in the Matlacha area.

Students are encouraged to bring in nonperishable products their family enjoys or uses regularly in their own household, such as boxed cereal, peanut butter and jelly, canned fruit, vegetables, beans and meat, spaghetti sauce and pasta, small bags of rice, potatoes and noodles, macaroni and cheese, soup, cookies, personal care products, such as shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, razors, shaving cream and laundry detergent, as well as dog and cat food.

The food drive will be held March 1-12. The class with the most pounds collected will win a pizza party and have their class photo featured in the local newspaper.

Dr. Thomas Millins said, “P.I.E. is proud to partner with the Pine Island Food Pantry to assist with the needs of the island. This initiative will not only assist our community but also teach our students ‘life lessons’ on giving back. This is a win-win for all stakeholders. It is important to me as the principal, to ensure students are learning lessons in and out of the classroom.”

Karen Durand, executive director of the Pine Island Food Pantry, said, “We are very grateful for all the hard work the students and teachers put into helping the Pine Island Food Pantry each year. This year has been especially difficult for P.I.E., yet their educational excellence continues and we are so grateful to Principal Tom Millins for finding a way for the students to help us, help others on the island.”

The Food Pantry, which is a 501c3 nonprofit, serves the Pine Island and the greater Matlacha area and is operated by an all-volunteer staff. Its goal is to ensure “no one goes hungry” on the island. The pantry are indebted to all of its partners for ensuring food is available for everyone. Visit its website at pineislandfoodpantry.org to learn more.