November 30, 2021

Homer teachers raise $11,000

Fundraiser will help feed hungry children

Barbara Bachmann had seen plenty of stories about empty food pantries and broken supply chains. Then she heard the stories of Homer kids some of them her students — relying on the bagged lunches the school district delivers for their only meal of the day.

That was enough to get her started.

“I reached out to the Spafford and Homer food pantries to see if that was what they were encountering and unfortunately, it was,” said Bachmann, an eighth-grade home and careers teacher at Homer Junior High School. “Their shelves were bare and the people that were utilizing the pantry were on the rise.”

Next stop: the union. “I reached out to the Homer Teachers Association and they gave me the thumbs up to get the ball rolling and start up the fundraiser,” Bachmann said.

The fundraiser, known as HTA Pack the Pantry and organized primarily through GoFundMe, benefits Homer, Spafford and Preble food pantries.

“The original goal was $2,500, and we exceeded that in one day,” Bachmann said. “We have raised it as we have achieved each goal. I really wasn’t sure how much we would raise and have been so pleased on how the HTA members and the community have rallied to help those in need.”

As of this morning, the HTA had raised nearly $11,000.

“Our pantry is serving more families than ever before,” said Lisa Valletta, program coordinator of Spafford Food Pantry. “We typically assist 35 to 40 families each month during the spring season; in April we served 51 families in addition to providing an Easter meal package for 70 families.”

“With the stay-at-home order abruptly changing household incomes, the increased client numbers in our pantry came with little to no warning,” she added. “And while we were able to accommodate everyone, our shelves are mighty empty.”

To Help

To donate, go to https:// and search for HTA Pack the Pantry.

The fundraiser will absolutely help, she said.

The HTA has done food drives and collected money for families before, and has supported families in ways other than fundraising, but Bachmann said this has been its most successful project ever.

“We are going to try and keep this going because we do not see the demand on the pantries slowing down anytime soon,” Bachmann said. “In a time of need, we need to reach out and help those we can.”