Cole Arts and Science Academy is raising money to provide grocery store gift cards to students for the holidays.
Cole Arts and Science Academy is raising money to provide grocery store gift cards to students for the holidays. In the past, the school provided toys to students during the holidays, but with many families struggling to put food on the table during the pandemic, the PTSA is on a mission to make sure kids don’t go hungry while learning from home.
“Some of our families are suddenly receiving this new burden that is so intensely heavy,” said Melissa Turney, a Cole Arts and Science Academy parent and PTSA member. “This year, we really just recognized that everything is different, and our families are just really working so hard to provide for food for their kids,” Turney said. “Having their kids home all the time, losing jobs, being out of work, having their hours cut, all of these things are realities for all of us here in this building.”
Before COVID-19, students could get three meals a day while learning in-person. Now, remote learning has made access to free and reduced meals a challenge.
Crystal Martinez, a mother of four Cole Arts and Science Academy students, knows how hard the pandemic has hit some families.
“I work at a restaurant myself, and we all know how the restaurants are going right now,” Martinez said. “My hours got cut, and it’s a struggle. I thank Jesus that I have my dad, and I thank Jesus that I have a family that I can lean on, but that’s not everyone’s situation. It’s super helpful to have a gift card, and it does a lot more than anyone could imagine.”
With the community’s help, these moms are working to make sure all 277 students get a $25 grocery store gift card.
“Our hope is not only that it will bring some joy, and some warmth, and some comfort to the families in the holiday season, but that they’ll be able to buy their own presents for their kids with just a little relief,” Turney said.
Originally published at CBS