Food feuds: you made an impact


Debra Klevens

Editors for the Parkway West Pathfinder help organize the Pathfinder product drive. The team collected and sorted donations from each English teacher’s room after school from Nov. 14 – Nov. 21. “Our goal was originally to give each family seven additional items for the month of December, and we have far surpassed our goal now,” Pathfinder editor and senior Elle Rotter said. “We passed that goal by the third day of the drive, and it was amazing how many people donated.”

With your help, the Pathfinder collected over 3,000 items to donate to the Parkway Food Pantry, surpassing our goal of 1,051. This means each Parkway Food Pantry family will have 20 additional items to get them through winter break when our original goal was seven. 

Each box donated to the Parkway Food Pantry includes a box of cereal, seven granola bars, two Pop-Tarts, four packages of oatmeal, five care items and one additional item like ramen noodles or pancake mix. 

English teacher Cara Borgsmiller and her students donated the most — 1,128 items — leaving them in the lead with 470 donations. English teacher Michelle Kerpash came in second place with 658 items, and in third place was Shannon Cremeens’ classes, who donated 353 items. 

“I am hopeful that we alleviated even a small amount of worry from a family,” Borgsmiller said. “I think all of us are feeling the pressure of providing for families during the holidays, so if we can do any amount to give parents breathing room and one less thing to worry about, we did something worthwhile.”

Borgsmiller took an extra step to explain to her students why this product drive was so important to Parkway families. She saw this as an opportunity to remind herself of how everyone can impact society. 

“I am always talking about giving back — in school, in debate and in my life,” Borgsmiller said. “There are so many people who, while suffering, can thrive if we just see them and hear them. So to be able to talk about that every day with all of my classes and help them see the real impact of those actions was a great reinforcement for me to keep these values at the forefront of all I do.”

Borgsmiller also thanked senior Rainier Neuwirth-Deutsch, who donated a carload of breakfast items and menstrual pads Friday, Nov. 18. This made a significant impact on the number of donations, giving a total of 838 items. 

“Truly seeing the difference they were making each day and working toward a collective goal felt galvanizing. But it also speaks to the power of one person; once a few items were donated, the rest came rolling in,” Borgsmiller said.