Palm Harbor students get taste of volunteering as they pack, sort food for needy families

A group of 7th and 8th-grade students from Discovery Academy of Science in Palm Harbor impacted more than 150 struggling families just in time for Thanksgiving. 

"The students wanted to do something in honor of Thanksgiving and they felt like they were giving food to others who may need it, especially during this time when people have lots of food to eat and many people don’t," explained Alex Dreyer with Discovery Academy of Science in Palm Harbor.

Helping Hands Food Pantry is a mobile food pantry where people drive through and get fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, bakery goods, dairy, dry goods and beef.

The sorted the food, boxed it up and placed it into cars. They also helped the car line move along. 

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"I've always wanted to help my community," said student Amari Santana. "It's just a great pleasure to make someone smile."

His classmate Aiden Rowe said, "It was a great first experience to volunteer. I felt really awesome to help people."

"It’s so valuable for students to have this opportunity to give back I think in middle school, especially," explained Dreyer.  "A lot of them are exposed to volunteering for the first time and to introduce them to that feel-good feeling that you get by helping others, I believe is very important and can spark a lifetime of giving back."

Rowe agreed, "I recommend it for other kids my age."

LINK: For more information about the Discovery Academy of Science, visit

LINK: For more information about the Helping Hands Food Pantry, visit

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