The Pirate Power Pack Program is one of five volunteer groups in the state to be honored by ServeOhio and their Stewards of Service corporate partners, Honda of America MFG., Inc. and American Electric Power Foundation. Each award recipient will receive a cash award of $1,000 to support the organization of their choice.
The Pirate Power Pack Program is a school-based weekend food program that is coordinated by students in Perry High School’s Perry Service Learning Program (PSL). As part of their efforts to address hunger and poverty in their community, students designed and implemented this weekend food program which serves to replace the school meals children miss during weekends or extended breaks from school. Each “Power Pack” contains enough food for two breakfasts, two lunches, three dinners, and one snack.
In collaboration with The Perry Center, the community food pantry that financially supports this program, the student coordinators have collected, packed, and delivered nearly 7,000 meals for the 48 students currently participating in this year’s Pirate Power Pack Program. They have also collaborated with other community organizations, including the Thriving Threads Clothing Room, the Perry Public Library, Perry Recreation, and Perry Elementary School to host community outreach events which not only connect students and their families with much needed food and clothing, but also ensures that they are an active part of the school community.
“Through their efforts with the weekly Power Packs, and their community outreach initiatives, these students have invested well over 400 volunteer hours that directly address childhood hunger in our community,” said Perry Service Learning Advisor Allison Trentanelli. “The Pirate Power Pack coordinators have worked incredibly hard to include our school and our community in their efforts.”
Each Tuesday evening, students welcome a school group or local family into the Power Pack room and facilitate a service project which allows the group to prepare the Power Packs while also learning about ways they can help address hunger and poverty. This year alone, they have welcomed more than 50 volunteers who have contributed nearly 100 hours of service. In addition to creating community support, these efforts also resulted in an increase of donations.
To help financially support the Pirate Power Pack Program, the student coordinators, along with almost 100 of their classmates, hosted a Holiday Food Drive this past December. They worked closely with The Perry Center and rang the Salvation Army bell at our local grocery store for nearly 80 hours resulting in more than $3,000 in donations. Between their collections at the local grocery store and on our campus, the students also collected 4,300 pounds of food that was shared between the Pirate Power Pack Program and The Perry Center.
ServeOhio Commissioners and staff will present the award to the Pirate Power Pack Program on April 3rd at 7:00pm in Perry High School’s Goodwin Theatre. “ServeOhio recognizes that volunteerism and service improves lives in Ohio every minute of every day,” ServOhio Executive Director William Hall said. “We are honored to celebrate the impact of everyday citizens who reach beyond themselves to help their neighbors and communities – shaping who we are as individuals and a state.
The money received from the award will be donated to the Perry Center for their continued support of the program.