WAS Kids Help Feed the Hungry

Roughly 1 out of 5 people will go without a meal daily.  That is like Woodside’s entire 5th grade going without a meal each day.  

This year, Woodside participated in a fabulous program through The Outreach Program to engage kids and parents in feeding the hungry in New Jersey.  Under the leadership of Alanna Arenstein, a Franklin Lakes parent, High Mountain Road school kicked off this program in 2015, and Woodside signed on for 2016.

Leading up the our food-packaging event on Thursday, June 2, Woodside ran a variety of events – ice cream sale, bracelet sale, watermelon sale and a special pizza lunch with parents – and raised $5,700!  This money was used to pay for the food items that were packaged

Click Here to View PhotosOn June 2, approximately 70 parents volunteer, 36 students from the FAMS PLC (Peer Leadership Corp), Mayor Frank Bivona and Superintendent Dr. Lydia Furnari, joined the approximately 280 Woodside students to help package non-perishable meals for families in need.  We also had a visit from the Suburban News, so be on the lookout for articles and pictures!

Woodside packaged 45,000 meals on June 2.  Combined with the meals packaged by High Mountain Road school at their food-packaging event, the District packaged 83,000 meals!  The collective effort will feed more than 17,000 families (17,500).  Woodside’s contribution will feed more than 11,000 families (based on a family of 4).

New Jersey Food and Clothing Rescue out of Passaic came and picked up the 1,000 boxes of packaged meals.  It took roughly 1 hour to load it all.  They will be using many of the meals for the direct community outreach they do weekly (every Saturday & Sunday) in both Newark and Patterson.  They are sharing the remaining meals with other agencies with whom they have close relationships.


Alanna Arenstein, the driver behind this effort in our District.  She spearheaded this program at HMR and helped bring it to Woodside.  We couldn’t have done what we did without her direction and support.

Laura Metzler, Woodside’s Change the World chair.  Laura stepped up and brought life to this program at Woodside.  Few will know how much work she did.  (For those of you who were impressed by our efforts, consider becoming one of our leaders for next year!)

Mrs. Larubbio, Woodside’s Art teacher, for making an AMAZING banner that hung in our gymnasium during the food-packaging event.  Each class had a photo taken in front of the banner.  (We’re hoping we can share those pictures with you in the future.)

Jose, Woodside’s amazing custodian.  He was instrumental to our efforts as this event required a great deal of set up and processing of many boxes of food and supplies.

Mrs. Magnusen, WAS Guidance Counselor, and  Mrs. Jameson, WAS Principal, were also instrumental in making the day run smoothly.

Julie Jabaly, Betsy Chen, Natalie Shah, Christine Implicito, Kristen Granatal, and Brynn Khalaf, our parent volunteers who supported our various fundraisers.

Liz Barbagallo and Debbie Lineburg, WAS Administrative Staff, for helping us manage the money, flyers and questions.

Mr. Henshaw, WAS Gym Teacher, for giving up his gymnasium to support this special event.

While this program was not a PTA-run program, we still wanted to sing the praises of the work done by our fantastic parents and kids.  The WAS PTA aims to bring our community together, and this  program did just that.  Hats off to everyone who made it possible.

If you have any interest in helping Woodside lead this program next year, please contact Laura Metzler.