By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
When school events for the rest of the academic year were canceled, the Roosevelt Avenue Parent Teacher Group [RAPTG] found itself with $10,000 in need of a purpose.
That purpose was soon found in the Fuel for the Weekend program. Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program—along with groups such as Lenore’s Pantry and the Hockomock YMCA—have been bagging food for families in need. RAPTG President Natalie Lloyd said that there was a discussion about other uses for the money, but it was clear that the program would be a great choice.
“Our purpose is to provide for children and this is how children need to be provided for,” said Lloyd. “Sarah worked hard to establish a level of trust and familiarity and this seemed like a good fit. That was the cornerstone of why this was the right fit for us.”
Sarah Stone, who manages the program, said one challenge has been that they cannot buy in bulk at the supermarkets for the time being, with so many people stocking up. With this donation, they’ll be able to work with a vendor to make bulk purchases that will be able to last a couple of weeks. Currently, the volunteers are only able to purchase enough for a week. Working with this vendor, Stone said they can better maintain their supplies or increase them.
“I spoke with Natalie last week and was just blown away by the generosity, it’s just amazing,” said Stone. “I was basically speechless.”
In addition to this, the Falls Elementary School PTO made a donation of $2,000 to the program.
Bags of food are being delivered on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to the home of students on the program. Deliveries are handled by school teachers and staff who have volunteered to assist the program. Bags of food are packed at the Alternative Market, and donations can be made there as well, Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The RAPTG raises thousands of dollars each year for different enrichment programs at the Roosevelt School. Three are school-wide and there are two planned for each grade level. Lloyd said they start each year with enough money to fully fund all the programs, and having $10,000 available was the result of careful management and the extensive fundraising work they’ve done. Halloween Fright Night, dances and bowling games, and the Spring Fling are just a few of the events they host.
“At the beginning of the year, the budget for enrichment will be $11,000-$12,000 and things get scheduled throughout the year,” said Lloyd.
Roosevelt Principal Jeannine Magliocco said this was far and away the biggest donation the group has done. Along with being incredibly generous, she said the RAPTG also stands as a model to the students for community outreach with the fundraisers it holds.
“They directed their donation to them [Fuel for the Weekend] because they knew it touches as many children in North Attleborough as it could be possible,” said Magliocco. “I’m awestruck, but not surprised, because they are such a generous group of people. Everything goes back to the kids. Always.”
The Community Comets Food Pantry runs a Facebook page with a link to an Amazon wish list that people can order food from. For more information, email email@example.com or visit www.facebook.com/communitycometsfoodpantry.