Shady Side Academy hosts food drive, teacher parade
Thursday, May 21, 2020 | 8:45 AM
It was hard for Shady Side Academy teacher Claire Pilarski to stomach the frequent news of people struggling with food insecurity during the coronavirus outbreak.
Add to that the frustration of missing her classroom, and Pilarski devised a unique solutions to both of her woes.
The SSA Junior School in Point Breeze will host a canned food drive and teacher parade from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday.
In a festive lineup along the school entrance off South Braddock Avenue, teachers will stand six feet apart and wave at students and families who arrive to drop off canned soup, veggies and other donations.
“We know that there are so many in our community experiencing food insecurity during this pandemic,” said Pilarski, a pre-kindergarten teacher. “It was hard to sit back and not do anything about it.
“On top of that, as teachers, we are in such a unique situation where we are used to seeing our students every day and can’t any more so I thought it would be fun to combine the best of both worlds.”
Families who plan to donate food are asked to place the items in a bag or box in the trunk of their car. A no-contact retrieval will take place in the school’s traffic circle.
Donations will benefit the Wilkinsburg Community Ministry.
Founded in 1968, the outreach provides essentials like food and clothing to residents in need, serving more than 5,000 people a year. That includes senior citizens, people with disabilities and children.
Since the start of the covid-19 pandemic, demand has skyrocketed to 500 families a week, according to the ministry’s website.
Pilarski is hoping the event fills participants will a sense of pride and a offers a little reprieve from missing the classroom.
“The event will help those in need and share smiles with those we love most during what can be a trying time for our families,” Pilarski said.