The W-E Care Food Pantry benefits students in the community

Weschools December
WECP Members from Willoughby-Eastlake Schools support the W-E Care Food Pantry to benefit local families with school-aged children who need mealtime assistance.

By Mimi Vanderhaven

“We must become the change we want to see in the world.”—Mahatma Gandhi

There are those who wish they could reach out and help community members in need, and then those who actually work together and do it.

Twenty years ago, the W-E Care Food Pantry was initiated by a former Willoughby Eastlake Classified Professionals (WECP) union president as a community service project to support the district’s students and families in need.

Located within Edison Elementary School, the member-run pantry is stocked with breakfast foods, soups, vegetables, noodles, rice and desserts. Also included are personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies and paper products. About 35-50 families in the district make use of the pantry.

“The pantry is open and managed by 150 WECP members while school is in session (mid-August to mid-June) each year,” says Nancy R. Knack, WECP President.

Here’s how it comes together: WECP members organize collection drives in their individual schools where their colleagues, students and families contribute donations of non-perishable items.

“As the name says—We Care—and as educational support professionals, we are the staff who often have the most direct contact with parents and receive information related to families in need,” says Nancy. “As the needs of our students grow, specifically regarding the issue of hunger and families in need of support for their children, we will continue to do what we can to help meet their needs so children can be present in school.”

So this year, while you’re buying items for your Christmas feast, why not buy extra to donate to the W-E Care Food Pantry so another family can enjoy holiday mealtime as well?

Look for these monthly stories to cover topics from grades K-12 in the Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools System. To donate to the pantry, contact Nancy Knack at, or 440-975-3675. For details, visit