As a teacher at the high school from which she graduated, Gina Camelli has seen firsthand how the changing economy has impacted students and their families. Their growing needs are what motivated her to approach the district’s administration about opening a pantry to serve students. With the district’s full support, Camelli, along with volunteers and community supporters launched Paw Pantry in the fall of 2017.
Just last month, Camelli’s efforts caught the attention of Hardee’s Restaurants. The burger chain named Camelli a Hardee’s All Star and awarded the district $10,000 for Paw Pantry. Camelli is one of five people, throughout the United States, selected by Hardee’s for her charitable efforts. The new Hardee’s All Star program celebrates honorees for their selflessness, bravery and commitment to giving back to their communities.
“This money will allow us to expand the Paw Pantry within Howland Schools. In just one year’s time, we have been able to distribute non-perishable food items, clothing, personal hygiene products and school supplies to students who need assistance. We are thrilled this money will allow us to build upon our efforts and help even more families,” said Gina Camelli.
Anyone in the Howland community, including parents/guardians, teachers, guidance counselors and principals can fill out an online Paw Pantry referral form. Once the form is completed, the requests are fulfilled and the items are sent to the student at their school.
Click here to view the Hardee's video of Miss Camelli.