Project Fill the Bus collects 11,755 lbs. of food for local families

A project started by two Pasco School District bus drivers has collected thousands of pounds of food for local families in need for the seventh year in a row.

Project Fill the Bus collected 11,577 pounds of donated food, equivalent to 9,648 meals for families in the area. The food was collected at the Pasco School District administration office by students, families and the public. The donations will benefit pantries in Pasco schools and regional food banks.

On Wednesday, five school buses and two school district trucks loaded with the donations arrived at Second Harvest in Pasco.

Second Harvest is a non-profit organization that distributes more than 2 million pounds of free food each month to help people in 26 counties in eastern Washington and northern Idaho. The organization partners with more than 250 neighborhood food banks and meal centers, including Mid-Columbia Meals on Wheels and the Kennewick School District.

The annual project was created by two Pasco School District bus drivers. One of the drivers, Tamara Pearson, is the project organizer. She led a team of volunteers and school district employees on Wednesday during the event.

‘We see the need of the families and the community,” Pearson said, “We thought what is a better way to help our community than starting this project and it has been super successful.”

Pearson told KAPP-KVEW the donations were slow when the project started in 2013 but over the years more people are giving back.

“We have lots of people throughout our community that reached out to us that want to help,” Pearson said, “Our dream was to get it big and it is definitely moving in the right direction.”

Pearson hoped they could collect 12,000 pounds this year but the goal fell just short of the anticipated number. KAPP-KVEW asked Pearson what is next for the annual event, and she smiled and said, “Just wait and see.”

Posted by Pasco School District #1 on Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Several food pantries have been established throughout the Pasco School District in recent years. Food is collected at each school to benefit the pantries and Project Fill the Bus.