St John Paul II Catholic College is helping fill the pantry of those in need

DONATE: Students (back l-r) Madelyne Leite, Claire Lynch, Alyssandra Bessounian and Christian Cipri (front) are helping fill the pantries of the needy. Picture: Geoff Jones
DONATE: Students (back l-r) Madelyne Leite, Claire Lynch, Alyssandra Bessounian and Christian Cipri (front) are helping fill the pantries of the needy. Picture: Geoff Jones

The burden of filling the pantry for those in need will be a little less thanks to St John Paul II Catholic College. 

The school’s student representative council (SRC) put the call out to the community and hosted a food drive to help replenish the cupboards at Ignite Food Store and Op Shop in Emerton.

The brainchild of Jesuit Social Services and Holy Family Parish, the food store provides low cost, healthy fresh food to low income families.

Year 9 student Madelyne Leite said the SRC was thrilled by the successful response of the food drive. 

“We wanted to really focus on creating an awesome fundraiser for a really great local business that helps people who can’t go to mainstream grocery stores,” she said. 

“We encouraged students to bring in all different kinds of things.”

A trailer was packed to the brim on Tuesday, June 20 with items such as cereal, nappies, pasta, laundry products and coffee.

Year 9 student Claire Lynch said the student council wanted to help people in the community struggling to afford basic necessities.

“It’s mainly because we take for granted walking into a grocery store and being able to buy things that we need and want when others don’t have that opportunity,” Claire said. 

“Ignite supports people in a time of need or struggling and we don’t know who is in need. It could even be the person next to you.”

St John Paul II Catholic College also hosted a mufti day in conjunction to the food drive and asked participating students to donate a gold coin for the fundraiser.

The student representative council is hopeful the food drive will become a regular event in the school’s calendar.

“We would love to hold it again and make it a regular fundraiser,” year 9 student Christian Cipri said.

The college’s Leader of Learning Religious Education, Nal Wijesekera, praised the success of the students initiative. 

“We even had a lot of kids who decided to wear their sports uniform but still brought items for the food drive,” Mr Wijesekera said.

“It goes a long way of fulfilling the values of loving our neighbours and understanding that we all have a duty to look after each other.”