PECI’s Make Poverty History Club helps flatten curve and feed local families

FLATTENING THE CURVE PECI's Make Poverty History Club have designed a protective face mask from which sale proceeds will support Prince Edward County foodbanks. (Submitted photo)

DESIRÉE DECOSTE

STAFF WRITER

Prince Edward Collegiate Institute’s Make Poverty History Club (MPH) is helping flatten the COVID-19 curve while also raising money for two local food banks.

The MPH Club is proud to announce its latest #OneTeam fundraising project as the sale of Panther Pride fabric face masks to help flatten the local COVID-19 infection curve, protect vulnerable people in the community and raise money for food banks in Picton and Wellington.

Members of the public can support this fundraiser by purchasing a PECI Panther face mask for $15 or two for $25. All masks are Canadian-sourced, made of anti-microbial, hypoallergenic microfibre and are an around-the ear design with a soft polyester lycra binding with a comfortable fabric area 5” x 7” in size. 

All masks are colour sublimated in PECI garnet with the distinctive Panther logo and profits from the sales will be donated to the Wellington Storehouse and Picton United Church Food Banks. 

This is no small undertaking for these Panthers who still have the community in their hearts and minds during the COVID-19 pandemic but the students up to the challenge.

“With or without the need for volunteer hours, this core group is driven to serve its community and to make a difference,” stated PECI and MPH Club mentor and teacher Marian Moon. “Given the current situation with the pandemic it just made sense for us to address food security issues here in The County for this year’s keystone project.” 

In mid-May, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tham issued a recommendation that members of the general public wear masks in public spaces in order to help block the transmission of COVID-19. This virus can be spread in micro-droplets during face-to-face interactions, including those between individuals who are asymptomatic for the infection. 

Since N-95 medical masks are needed for frontline caregivers and disposable masks are problematic for the environment, reusable fabric masks are the preferred choice for most individuals. MPH’s masks were designed with this in mind.

Historically, the MPH Club at PECI has raised funds to support a range of initiatives from helping Kenyan villages to become self-sustainable, to raising awareness about equity issues worldwide. Working in concert with PECI’s Environment and GSA clubs as ‘The Justice League’ their goal is to promote social and environmental justice at home and abroad. 

“PECI is and always has been, a community school,” PECI educator Janet Curran said. “It’s more important than ever our students have a sense of agency and that they know they’re not helpless in the face of a crisis. Through this project, they have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding that community means more than a physical building where our classes take place.”

Many individuals and families currently face food insecurity issues as a result of pandemic lockdowns and social distancing measures. 

Ellen Brownbill from the Picton United Church Food Bank and Linda Downey from the Wellington Storehouse Food Bank are happy to see local food security as the focus of this year’s MPH fundraiser. 

Both organizations currently serve hundreds of clients and have increased their distribution in response to current needs in the community. 

Additionally, both are expecting an even greater need this autumn based on current pandemic model projections. 

Fundraisers like this MPH initiative are particularly welcome as cash donations enable the food banks to maximize their impact by making bulk and wholesale purchases of goods for distribution.

Delivery of the masks is expected within the next few weeks and advance orders are welcome.

To place an order for one or more PECI Panther face masks please contact mmoon@hpedsb.on.ca

To make donations directly to local food banks, please contact Linda Downey by email at wellingtonstorehousefoodbank@gmail.com or Ellen Brownbill by email at pictonunitedchurch@bellnet.ca