SCHS Peer Helpers collect food for families in need

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer 

COLUMBIANA — A group of students known as Peer Helpers at Shelby County High School pitched in to help with the Tri-City Impact Food Drive from Oct. 5-8, collecting a total of 1,166 items.

The food will go to families in need in the Columbiana, Shelby and Wilsonville areas, which are the communities served by the Tri-City Impact Team. The school’s drive is part of a bigger drive that is ongoing until Nov. 1.

Peer Helper sponsor Rebecca Hicks at Shelby County High said the project allowed the Peer Helpers to continue to make a positive impact despite the fact that they cannot hold regular meetings due to COVID-19.

“We have the ability to support our school and to lead them in a positive way that can impact our community,” Hicks said. “(The food drive) was a way for us to still support without gathering.”

Peer Helpers is a group of 16 students at SCHS who are advocates, mediators and sometimes tutors for other students at the high school and at Columbiana Middle School. They assist new students who are transitioning to the high school and address issues such as bullying, inclusive behaviors, kindness, self-image, depression and suicide.

“Even though we couldn’t get together as a group to do something for the community, I still think we’ve made an impact,” said Peer Helper Denisen Justice, a sophomore at SCHS. “We’ve helped many families in the area. Just knowing that the families won’t have to worry about where their next few meals came from, that’s what makes the whole food drive worth it.”

Donation bins are still set up at different locations throughout the communities, including Columbiana Food Mart (21553 Alabama 25), Beeswax Outdoors (25747 Alabama 145), Spring Creek Grocery in Shelby (4634 Shelby County 71) and Shelby Country Store (4155 Shelby County 47). In addition, other local groups are doing food drives that feed into the Impact Food Drive.

For more information about the Impact Food Drive, contact Zina Cartwell at 205-728-8454 or zcartwell@centralalabamawellness.org.