PUNXSUTAWNEY — Punxsutawney teachers distributed 600 meals and a variety of hygiene products to students and area residents Saturday.
The teachers contributed more than $2,500 themselves, and partnered with Lily’s Restaurant and Neko’s Restaurant to provide the meals to the public. Teachers met at the high school to distribute and transport the meals to four other locations.
Teacher Andrew Tygert said the teachers wanted to supplement the meals the school has been distributing through the week, so decided to offer meals on the weekend as well.
“The two restaurants who worked here were out of this world incredible. Just above and beyond, so helpful, so kind, so generous. It was fantastic,” Tygert said.
Lily’s Restaurant owner Lilian Cameron messaged one of the teachers at the high school to tell him if they ran out of food and needed more, she could have more there in 15 minutes.
Tygert said when the teachers began reaching out to restaurants, one of the first they spoke with gave them the names of restaurants they believed were suffering more than theirs. Neko’s had just reopened its doors recently.
“The whole community has been so supportive,” Tygert said. “People started Facebook messaging me that I’ve never met and saying ‘I want to drop things off at your house,’ and dropping off donations and stuff too.”
The school also set up a table of personal hygiene products where people could stop for whatever they needed. This was provided through Leslie’s Closet at the high school.
Leslie’s Closet is a teacher-led effort at the Punxsutawney High School to ensure students have access to personal hygiene items at no cost during the school year.
“So, the teachers and Leslie’s Closet ended up doing most of the hygiene supplies, and then a couple of community members also dropped some things off, too, which is neat to see the community back this project,” Tygert said.
Teachers at the hygiene table also asked people who stopped if there were any other needs the teachers could be working to meet for the community.