Cleveland Students Collect Over 900 Items for West Johnston Food Pantry

Cleveland and West Johnston might be rivals on the field, but they are allies when it comes to community service. 

The Cleveland High School Honors Ethics and Leadership delivered over 900 items to the West Johnston Food Pantry on Wednesday. 

Over the past week, Cleveland’s first block classes collected canned goods and other non-perishable items as part of a contest. The winning class receives doughnuts while the winning teacher receives a gift card. Four classes collected over 100 items each. Math teacher Gwen Orilio’s first block won the contest with 171 items donated. Theater teacher Kelley Townsend’s class was the runner up with 168 items; art teacher Hannah Koch’s first block added 149 items, and social studies teacher Lesley Warren’s class contributed 108 items. Overall, Cleveland students contributed 938 items to the West Johnston Food Pantry.

Melissa Pearce’s Honors Ethics and Leadership class organized and carried out the food drive as a service project. Preston Renfrow (12), a student in the class, said the class members collected, boxed and delivered the cans during the school day on Wednesday. He described the pantry as “a mini Food Lion,” with racks of non-perishable goods and donated refrigerators for perishable items like meat and eggs. According to the pantry’s website, the pantry is open each Wednesday from 3:30-4:45pm, and they experience their greatest need in the fall and winter seasons, especially around the holidays.

Senior Amber Posada carries a box of goods to the bus for Cleveland’s contribution to the West Johnston Food Pantry. Photo by Melissa Pearce

The West Johnston Food Pantry is located on the school’s campus. It is open once per week to anyone who needs food in the Cleveland and McGee’s areas. Shoppers are asked to provide a state-issued ID with a current address and provide report cards for dependents. The pantry takes food and financial donations. Any monetary donations are used to purchase food with the help of the Eastern North Carolina Food Bank. Read more about the West Johnston Food Pantry here.


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