What began as a simple donation made on behalf of New Berlin MOD Pizza to the School District of New Berlin has now developed into an ongoing relationship between the two organizations who share a mutual goal of helping address childhood hunger for students in New Berlin and neighboring communities.
Earlier this year, Lisa Ohland, general manager for the local MOD Pizza restaurant, approached the district with her desire to help eliminate outstanding lunch account balances for struggling families. Through a series of “MOD Monday” fundraisers, MOD donated 20 percent of proceeds to the district for this purpose. Not long after, the district partnered with MOD to host a food-packing event in conjunction with Generosity Feeds, a national organization committed to decreasing food insecurity for children across America.
Held at Ronald Reagan Elementary on Sept. 22, more than 250 volunteers packaged 13,000 beans and rice meals in under two hours. Volunteers included district staff, students and their families, as well as MOD employees and community members. MOD Pizza donated more than $12,000 to fund the New Berlin event, part of an ongoing effort by MOD to provide more than a half million meals this year for hungry children throughout the country.
A portion of the packaged meals will remain in the district and be distributed throughout the year to SDNB families in need. A majority of the meals were shared with neighboring school districts for the same purpose. The Waukesha Food Pantry and the New Berlin Food Pantry also received a number of meals to assist with their missions.
“Records show that one in eight children in our district might not know where their next meal is coming from outside of school hours,” said SDNB Superintendent Joe Garza. “We appreciate MOD’s generous donation which allowed our staff and students to engage with the larger community for such a meaningful purpose. I think I speak for all involved when I say this was a very rewarding experience for our district.”
MOD and the district plan to continue their “MOD Monday” fundraisers throughout the 2018-19 school year.