FCCLA volunteers at Westmorland County Food Bank


FCCLA members pose for a picture around the emergency boxes they packed.

Maria Janiga, Secretary

Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) members Kyleigh Schaefer and Maria Janiga organized and ran a food drive in the high school for the FCCLA state competition later this month. The drive started on February 13 and ran until the February 24. All together, the school collected and donated 450 pounds of food to the Westmorland County Food Bank. 

With help from FCCLA adviser Mrs. Greene, Schaefer and Janiga scheduled and organized the trip to visit and volunteer at the Westmoreland County Food Bank in Delmont on Tuesday Feb. 28. The volunteers packed 108 emergency food boxes, 80 cases of beverages, assembled 200 boxes and sorted food donations.  

“The environment of the Westmoreland County Food Bank was wonderful, all the staff were so welcoming and wanting to help us,” said club member Isabella Deering. “I loved being able to give back to my community in a new way by packaging food to help so many people throughout Westmoreland County.” 

The club members who signed up, spent over two hours at the food bank packing emergency food boxes for families in need, and sorting through different donated goods. 

Students working together in an assembly line to pack emergency food boxes.

“Volunteering at the food bank was a really nice experience,” said junior member, Madison Samber. “I had never been to the food bank before, so it was interesting to see how things were run and how much work goes into helping people. I not only felt good about doing work to help people, but I also had fun doing it since I was with my friends. It was really fun to be in a fast paced environment with all of my friends, but also knowing we were doing something beneficial for the community.”

Gina Colosimo, the coordinator of volunteers and Food Drives for the Westmoreland County Food Bank, gave students a tour around the facility. Colosimo taught them about different opportunities they have at the Food Bank, and about the target audience they tend to. 

“It was a great opportunity and experience to come help at the Food Bank,” said FCCLA member, Maria Janiga. “I think it really put into perspective how others who don’t have the same opportunities as most of us have to live. I’m happy that our project finally came together, and that we were able to participate as a club to help out our community.” 

FCCLA members perform service projects to qualify for the state competition, held at Seven Springs on March 20-22. They will compete within their selected category. At the competition, club members will explain to a panel of judges exactly what they did to help their community and those around them. Other service projects include teaching local preschoolers and recycling newspapers to make clothing.