Cassandra Alvarino

Cassandra Alvarino

For the past 2 years, I have had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer at BackPack Beginnings (BPB).  Through BPB, I have become more aware of the hunger issue in our community. I’ve learned there are 44,000 children who are food insecure in Guilford County Schools.  Approximately 700 of those students are at Grimsley High School (GHS) with me.  Many receive free breakfast and lunch at school but may not have food available to them at night or on the weekends.

Last November, I attended a GHS PTSA meeting with my mom.   It was at this meeting where a need for coats for GHS students was mentioned. One thing led to another and all of a sudden there was a plan for a coat drive that Friday night at our home football game. The following week I found out the drive brought in 26 coats!  I was impressed that a few words in a meeting got this task accomplished.

I started to realize my peers may be in need of more than winter clothing, they may need food. I decided to look for and apply for a grant in hopes of starting a food pantry at Grimsley.   With guidance, I found the Teen Grant Making council, which is run through the Community Foundation of Greensboro.  Our goal was to start a food and clothing pantry that would be open 2-3 times a month.  Students volunteer during their lunch periods to help to sort both food and clothing donations, as well as prepare food bags for families.

Last week 80 individuals benefited from our new program.  I’m so thankful to be a part of this program and its focus to give back to the community.  I look forward to sharing more successful stories about our pantry in the future!


Written on 3/26/2015 by Guest Blogger Cassandra Alvarino