When much of the world was shutting down due to Covid-19, members of the Washington Township School Support Service Personnel Association were springing into action.
While many individuals and organizations were (rightfully) honoring and thanking frontline medical professionals, WTSSSPA Vice President and Pride Chair Chrissy Kosar sought to focus her association’s efforts on less-recognized but equally important essential support personnel: front line workers.
Knowing first-hand the important and behind-the-scenes role support staff have in making our society run, the WTSSSPA–which is made up of over 500 members qualified to provide education-related services in over a dozen job categories–teamed up with the Washington Township Education Association to deliver pizzas, water, and thank-you cards to nearly 200 workers at their local ShopRite, Acme, and Liscios’s Bakeries on Saturday, May 23.
“It was the least we could do,” said Kosar, a bus driver for the Washington Township Public Schools. “Without people to stock shelves, pack orders, and operate registers at grocery stores, our community could not function. Providing lunch for these workers was just a small token of our appreciation.”
But as an organizer, Kosar knew that she and her Association could do more to help the Washington Township community–and her ambition didn’t stop with that single-day event.
Of particular concern to members of the WTSSSPA were Washington Township families with food insecurity whose school-distributed meals will stop when the academic year draws to a close. To ensure such families would receive support throughout the summer, the WTSSSPA, in conjunction with the WTEA and the Washington Township Public School District, decided to use their remaining PRIDE funds to purchase food for local food pantries on a weekly basis.
From now through September, Kosar will go shopping for bulk grocery items each week and will coordinate with district food service workers to donate food to The Mother’s Cupboard, a food pantry in Washington Township, and two other food pantries in South Jersey. Kosar and other volunteers make sure that nothing goes to waste–from food that had been ordered for lunches before the shutdown to cardboard boxes volunteers reuse for food delivery–so every resource can be directed to the food pantries with the most pressing needs.
Kosar says that she is thankful for and humbled by the support she has received from Washington Township teachers and school administrators at the district level, as everyone has a common goal: to make sure Washington Township’s students and their families are taken care of during this extraordinary time.