West Salem educators lead effort to feed local families

The West Salem Education Association and West Salem Lions Club have partnered to help struggling students and their families in the West Salem School District. 

So far, they have raised over $17,000 to conduct a grocery card drive to purchase cards for 260 families. They will continue the program until they reach their goal of serving 340 families.

The outpouring of support has been heartwarming amidst very difficult circumstances and we hope that this project truly goes a long way to help students and their families, West Salem EA Co-Presidents Heather Jehn and Ryan Waldhart said.

The project was driven by West Salem EA members, who united to do something to help their community. The local association and the Lions each pledged $1,000 matching funds on April 15. In two weeks, that amount grew to over $17,000 donated by current and retired teachers, substitute teachers, paraprofessionals and support staff, administrators, school board members, students, WSSD alumni, community members and businesses, and even folks from surrounding communities.  One graduating senior even contributed $1,700 from his senior exit project, originally designed to help outstanding balances on school lunch accounts. 

The West Salem EA is working to ensure that a local business, Hansen’s IGA, is the distributor of the grocery cards.