Shop and Drop: Central Islip teachers lead effort to feed people struggling during pandemic
Two Central Islip school teachers and their families are making sure no family goes hungry during the pandemic.
Jason Pastore and his brother-in-law Eric Perez say they found that many of their students were suffering with a lack of food, and didn't want to sit back and let that continue.
So the two and their wives came up with what they call Shop and Drop, where they collect donations from community members shopping for groceries.
With help from school social workers and a church, they've taken the addresses of families in need, who they drop the food off to almost every day.
Over the last few weeks, the group says they've collected over $5,000 in donations, allowing them to provide food for more than 30 families, including Gaudy Guarniz, who was overwhelmed by the act of kindness.
"I'm not the only family in need, you know?" says Guarniz. "So I'm so blessed. I have five kids and we lost our job - and I'm so blessed."
"It's become evident how lucky I am to be able to do it for my kids, my students and their families," says Perez. "Quite frankly their taxes pay my salary, so this is kind of an obligation of ours."
Pastore and Perez say they will keep doing Shop and Drop until the money runs out or the pandemic ends.