Food bank

Conceptual algebra students at Fort Couch Middle School and Upper St. Clair High School are teaming up to host a food and clothing drive to benefit the Greater Washington County Food Bank.

Nonperishable food items and new or gently used clothing items and toys will be collected at the high school from May 28–31 in the school’s main office or counseling center. Both locations will also accept monetary donations for the food bank, as well.

This marks the seventh year the conceptual algebra classes have collaborated on a food drive project. Coordinating the outreach effort are Shannon Strayer, high school math teacher, and Michelle Senneway, Fort Couch math teacher.

“We link the food and clothing drive to our algebra classes by creating an algebra equation or inequality and graph the results daily,” Strayer said.

For the purposes of the educational component, food and clothing donations are valued at $1.25 each, and with the combination of all money and food/clothing collected, the goal is to have a “total value” of at least $5,000.

“We discuss how many more items/money needs to be donated in order to hit the goal,” Strayer said. “We use a Google document to track Fort Couch’s donations and the high school’s donations to make it a bit more interactive.”

Students are assigned a variety of tasks including collecting the food, counting and sorting items, and calculating the total value.

In addition to their collection efforts, students will spend a day volunteering at Greater Washington County Food Bank, where they will plant gardens, pack Senior Boxes and sort clothing at the organization’s thrift store.

Last year students collected more than 7,000 food and clothing items and in excess of $700 in monetary donations to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.