January 21, 2015

  • Our school Counselor asked that we add two additional children to the program, and we were happy to be able to add them without hesitation, thanks to the generous support of this community. Thank you for making it easy to say, "Yes!" We are currently serving 38 children.

January 12, 2015

  • When there's a strong chance that we'll have wintry weather, there's a strong chance we'll have a school delay or cancellation in Chatham County. Of course we worry what our Fuel Up participants (many of whom rely on eating breakfast and lunch at school) will eat if there's nothing at home. That's why we prepare "Inclement Weather Kits!" 

Today we sent large lunch bags filled with enough food for three meals tomorrow (If the forecast is correct, school would be closed tomorrow) and an extra breakfast in case there's any re-freezing that causes a delay on Thursday. We're so glad that we have the funds needed to provide this supplemental food for the kids who participate in our program! Regular weekend bags will still be packed and sent home on whatever day we're able to return to school.

December 31, 2014

  • During the Holidays, some very special people were honored with gifts to Fuel Up at PHS. (We know that the gift-givers are special people too!) Here they are:
    • Debbie Kay, in honor of Maggie Borum
    • Wayland and Judy Ramage, in honor of William & Norma Ramage
    • Sarah and Ben Birken, in honor of Mel & Les Birken, Mary Ann & R. Laurence Berkowitz, and Rhoda & Roger Berkowitz
    • Kristen Reece, in honor of Bonnie Harrington
    • Lisa & Scott Hartman, in honor of Jim & Carolyn Hartman, Ron & Sarah Boardman and Barry & Diane Hensley
    • Kristen Reece, in honor of Jane Reece
    • Kori Flower, in honor of Bob & Joanne Flower
    • Anne & Josh Taylor, in honor of Donna O'Rourke
    • Eric Brantley and Debbie Meyer, each in honor of the other
    • Rebekah Vaisey, in honor of the Vaisey Kids
    • Stacey Yusko, in honor of Mary Beth Grealey
    • Andy & Rachel Ruvo, in honor of David Frost, Deb Sacco, Adam Serlo and Brian Vandersea

December 18, 2015

  • The Holiday Bag Project was a complete success! Volunteers "adopted" a Fuel Up bag number (meaning they took a list of prescribed items, shopped for the items, put them in bags labeled with that Fuel Up bag number and dropped the bags off last Friday.) These volunteers obviously had a lot of fun shopping for this project, as was evident in the number of "bonus items" and gifts spilling out of the bags they delivered. Many of the volunteers shared what a meaningful experience it was to shop for the food with their children -- we agree!

We had a great time on Monday preparing all of the supplemental items that went into each child's bags: There were fruit bags with about 10 pieces of fruit per child; there were cold bags with milk, baby carrots, cheese, yogurt tubes, deli meat, hummus, and ranch dip; and there were bags filled with extra snack and breakfast food items. It was a real bounty for each child, and we were thrilled about it! Thanks to Dave, Wayland, Ashley B., Ashley F., Jen A., Kat, Catherine, Tonya, and Brennan for getting everything assembled in record time; and many thanks to Jen B. for having it all so well-organized that we got it done in record time!

Many thanks to all of the volunteers who "adopted" bags for the Holiday Break, or who contributed funds to allow us to buy the supplemental items for each of the 36 children currently participating in the program:

    • Absolute Construction and Development
    • Absolute Realty
    • The Benjamin/Danner Family
    • The Birken Family
    • Maggie Borum
    • The Bowen Family
    • Eric Brantley & Debbie Meyer
    • Chandra Cowell
    • The Cuicchi Family
    • James & Diana Dell
    • The Dell Family
    • The Detzi Family
    • The Dominicks
    • Amy & John Dowden
    • Catherine & Bruce Ellis
    • Terri & Rick Fannin
    • The Frost/Honigmann Family
    • The Geizer Family
    • Missy Hagan
    • The Hartmans
    • The House Family
    • Mattias Jonsson
    • Vanessa Kennedy
    • Dave Klein
    • Cee Koehler
    • Charlie & Martha Lewis
    • Connie & Ed McCraw
    • The McGregor Family
    • The Merchant Family
    • Vivian Quimbaya-Winship
    • Wayland & Judy Ramage
    • The Sandifords
    • Jamie & Erick Swaine
    • Anne & Josh Taylor
    • Tracy Vernon-Platt
    • Christine Williams
    • Amy Wilson
    • Yeu-li Yeung, Mia and Mabel Collins

December 15, 2014

  • Volunteer Vivian Quimbaya-Winship had the coolest idea: a caroling event to benefit Fuel Up at PHS! It was held at Guanajuato, where members of the Perry Harrison School Chorus (led by Keith Davis and Kim Vickers) showcased their talents with three holiday songs. Chorus members then led the crowd in some holiday favorites, accompanied by our new friend Deborah...and Santa even made a special appearance! The event was loads of fun, and raised $275 for our program! 

Special thanks to Gabino, Manuel, and the Guanajuato staff for being such gracious hosts.

December 5, 2014

  • Last night was the Chapel Hill Giving Party, which is an amazing event: The hostesses invite their friends to come and meet representatives from local charities that resonate with them, and ask everyone to "Give Until it Feels Good." It felt great for Fuel Up at PHS, not just to collect $2125 for our organization, but to talk with so many people who care so much about our community, and want to make a difference in it. Thanks Mary Beth, Perri, Casey and Sue for hosting this incredible event and allowing us to be part of it! Thanks to everyone who talked to us, shared ideas with us, and made contributions to help support our efforts to reduce the number of hungry kids in our community.

November 20, 2014

  • Believe it or not, we’re already thinking about the Holidays! As in years past, there are multiple ways you can help Fuel Up at PHS and do your Holiday shopping at the same time:

Make a contribution in any amount in honor of a friend, family member, or colleague. We’ll either send the recipient a card (or give it to you to present yourself) telling them that they’ve received this great gift, and we’ll post the lucky recipients’ names on our web site. We have both Hanukkah and Christmas versions of the gift card.

“Adopt” a bag for the 16-day Winter Break: We’ll tell you the child’s Fuel Up number (it’s the child’s unique identifier since our program is anonymous), the age and gender of the child you’re shopping for, then give you a list with about $60 worth of specific food items to buy for that child. You’ll just label the bags of food with the child’s number and drop the bags off at Perry Harrison School on Friday December 12th. You can even “adopt” a bag in honor of someone special if you’d like to do that – We’ll post the lucky recipients’ names on our web site.

Too busy to shop for a bag, but like the idea of “adopting” one? Write a check to “Fuel Up at PHS” with “Holiday Bag” on the memo line; then one of our awesome volunteers will take care of the rest! As with the other Holiday gifts, we’re happy to provide a card if you’d like to make your contribution in honor of a friend, family member or colleague.

Please contact Jennifer Buckmire at gaganbuck@hotmail (dot) com if you’d like to “adopt” a bag for the Winter Break.

November 20, 2014

  • Look at the great surprise we received yesterday! Two beloved PHS staffers who have supported Fuel Up in a variety of ways over the years (including making home deliveries) asked their church to help collect food for Fuel Up at PHS. This is a major bounty, and includes lots of items we can send home during the upcoming Winter Break, as well as some great staples that we regularly send home in the children's weekend bags. Thank you Terrells Chapel A.M.E. and especially Doris & Ronnie Gilmore for your generosity and support. We appreciate you!

November 19, 2014

  • The last week has been very exciting for Fuel Up at PHS!

First, we received notification that our friends at Carolina Meadows have selected Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School to receive a very generous grant. The Carolina Meadows Community Grants Program has partnered with Fuel Up at PHS since our first year of operation, and we are very appreciative of their support in our efforts to reduce the number of hungry children in this community.

If that wasn’t awesome enough, we heard from our friends at Galloway Ridge that they, too, have decided to award us a grant this year! This is the second year in a row that the Galloway Ridge Community Foundation has provided their generous support.

We feel very fortunate to live in this community, where people feel compelled to care for the people around them. Because of all of you, we were able to pack weekend bags for 34 children today; and because of our generous grantors, we will be able to continue to serve these children and additional children who qualify for our program. Thank you!

November 13, 2014*

  • We had the great pleasure of picking up our share of donations collected at "The Cack Pack" from CORA today: great staples like fruit cups, compleat meals, and granola cereal pouches, just to name a few.  WOW!  We so appreciate all who donated!

October 25, 2014

  • In case there were some canned goods you didn’t get to drop off at school during the Food Drive, you have another chance: Cackalacky Where House in Chatham Mills is hosting a food drive today that will benefit all of the local weekend food programs, including Fuel Up at PHS. All of the food that’s donated today will be delivered to CORA, who will then make it available to weekend food programs. Thanks to Page Skelton at Cackalacky and our friends at CORA for teaming up to help area backpack food programs.

For more information, visit the web site at

October 24, 2014

  • The Fall Food Drive for Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School was held at the school from October 15-22nd. You contributed 359 items that we can use in the weekend bags plus 15 family-sized items that we can send home with participants as part of the Winter Break bounty; and $525 was also donated during this Food Drive.

So, how good was this? Enough items to pack almost 30 children’s weekend bags, and enough money to add two students to the program for the second semester. Thanks, Mariners! We appreciate all that you do to help support Fuel Up at PHS.

September 29, 2014

  • Tonight we held a Board Meeting at Perry Harrison School. We discussed our successful Summer Gap program, the high demand for our program (We’re up to 31 participants already!), budget considerations, events planned for the upcoming year, etc.

We announced that three of our original Board Members feel that their other obligations will prevent them from serving our Board in the manner they’d like, and that they’ll be stepping down at the end of the year: Kim Kylstra has assumed the role as Medical Director for North Chatham Pediatrics and Family Medicine; Dan Barnwell is quite busy in his second year as Principal of Bennett School; and Sally Maslansky is occupied with her Marriage and Family Counseling practice and other commitments. We thank all three of them for their guidance and service to our Board, and wish them well in their current endeavors.

We also had the pleasure of announcing two people who will bring considerable talent to our Board: Susan Brannum, Chatham County School Resource Nurse and Emily Geizer, who is both a PHS parent and a Health and Nutrition Coach. Both have been advocating and volunteering for Fuel Up for many years already, and we are thrilled to be able to welcome them in this new capacity.

Board Meetings are held Quarterly, and are open to anyone who would like to learn more about Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School.

September 10, 2014

  • The school year is underway, and our school Counselor and Social Worker have been working hard to review all of the applications we received for participation in Fuel Up at PHS! We’ve received more applications than usual this year, and we’re going to be working hard to secure funding to serve as many of the qualifying children as we can possibly serve.
  • Today, we packed 25 bags, which will go home with students this weekend. We’re excited about adding some enthusiastic new volunteers to our team, and are looking forward to a great school year.

Bean and Barrel is hosting a fundraiser for Fuel Up at PHS ALL DAY on Thursday, 9/11!

Eat dinner at Bean and Barrel on Thursday! (They have burgers, grilled chicken, salads and other dinner entrees) -- and tell them that you're there for Fuel Up. They'll donate a portion of the cost of your meal to Fuel Up at PHS! Already have dinner plans on Thursday the 11th? Stop by Bean & Barrel ANYTIME that day: for dessert or a glass of wine, OR swing by and grab a coffee drink to go.

Everything counts toward the fundraiser *as long as you tell them you're there for Fuel Up!*

Bean and Barrel is located at 50100 Governors Drive in Chapel Hill. Thanks, and hope to see you there!

August 25, 2014

  • Our friends at Cedar Grove UMC had a Back-to-School Carnival yesterday. Following their 11:00 worship service, the festivities were held on Cedar Grove UMC’s lawn: hot dogs, popcorn, sno cones, carnival games and a bounce house made it a fun afternoon for all in attendance. Best of all, proceeds from the carnival are being donated to Camp Woodhaven, Learning Trail Tutoring and Fuel Up at PHS. Thank you Cedar Grove UMC!

August 15, 2014

  • If you’re familiar with our organization, you already know why we offer a Summer Gap program: During the school year, meal assistance programs like Free and Reduced Breakfast and Free and Reduced Lunch help sustain children who live in food-insecure homes, and weekend food programs like ours provide food for the weekends and breaks from school. Children who live in food-insecure homes need greater support during the summer months, when school meal assistance programs aren’t available and community resources are limited. Thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers who shop for a list of prescribed items and drop them off at school each week, our program’s participants receive a week’s worth of food each Wednesday of their Summer Break. This year’s Summer Gap program ensured that 32 children in our community had adequate nutrition during the summer months. 
  • We were able to supplement the items provided by volunteers who “adopted” bags for the summer with fresh foods (fruit, milk, cheese, eggs, deli meat, etc) thanks to a generous grant from The Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church. We were also able to offer gorgeous fresh produce from the Fearrington Farmers Market most weeks, thanks to our friends at Farmer FoodShare. Above all, we are appreciative of the efforts of the following people, who helped ensure the success of the Fuel Up Summer Gap program:
    • Avis Bell
    • The Bowen Family
    • Meredith and Alyse Buckmire
    • Robert & Jennifer Buckmire
    • The California/Aguiar Family
    • Chandra Colwell
    • The Dell Family
    • The Detzi Family
    • Chris DiBona
    • The Dominick Family
    • Amy & John Dowden
    • The Ellis Family
    • Terri & Rick Fannin
    • Jimmy & Christina Ford
    • The Frost/Honigmann Family
    • The Godehns
    • Fred & Granville Hill
    • Cate House
    • Vanessa Kennedy
    • Dave Klein
    • Charlie & Martha Lewis
    • Karen Luken
    • Connie & Ed McCraw
    • The Meyer/Brantley Family
    • The Ritter Family
    • The Singletary Family
    • Lisa Skumpija, Absolute Realty and Absolute Construction
    • Wayland & Judy Ramage
    • The Terrell Family
    • Amy Wiley

June 18, 2014

  • This is what awesome community support looks like!

Today was the first day of our Summer Gap program. As you see, volunteers brought bags that were literally overflowing with food for each of our 32 Summer Gap participants. Additionally, vendors from the Fearrington Farmers' Market donated delicious fresh fruits and veggies through Farmer FoodShare for the participants' parents to choose from. We are so grateful to have the support of these volunteers and Farmer FoodShare! Many thanks to all of the hands that went into making today a success, and to all who are committed to providing adequate nutrition for these 32 children throughout the summer.


May 22, 2014

  • We had an awesome surprise today: The Ladies of Fearrington contacted us to let us know that they had collected food for Fuel Up! They delivered lots of non-perishable items that will be incredibly useful as we finish out the school year, and will be helpful to have as supplemental items for our Summer Gap program. Thank you, Ladies of Fearrington, for thinking of us and making this generous donation!

May 21, 2014

  • With only 14 school days left, the school year is quickly coming to a close -- That means it's time to recruit volunteers to help with our Summer Gap program!

For those of you who aren't familiar with "Summer Gap," it's the program we developed after our first year of operation, when we realized that it was perhaps even MORE important to offer meal assistance in the Summer months, when there are no school resources like the Free and Reduced Breakfast and Lunch being offered each school day. For Summer Gap, volunteers "adopt" a bag for the Summer Break. We provide a list of items they shop for ($12-$15) each week, then they simply drop off a brown grocery bag labeled with the Fuel Up number of their "adoptee" in the office each Wednesday morning. We add fresh fruit, make donated garden veggies available, and add other items such as milk, cheese, yogurt and deli meat before the parents come to pick up the bags at school each Wednesday. (Delivery is offered for families who lack transportation, so everyone who needs to participate can do so.)These supplemental items are purchased with grant money.

Since the shopping list has about $12-$15 worth of items each week, volunteers can expect to spend about $150 during the 10-week Summer Break. Some volunteers have shared bags with friends (i.e., taking turns every other week, or one taking the first half of the summer and the other taking the second half of the summer). Many past volunteers have said that it was a really special project for their family to shop for and pack the food each week. 

If you're interested in helping or would like more information about Summer Gap, please contact Jennifer Buckmire at or Sarah Blake Finigan at

April 10, 2014

  • Thanks to our school's Guidance Counselor, Leann Muñoz, and Social Worker, Rachael Norris, the last bags were delivered this afternoon to a family that doesn't have reliable transportation. 

Again, thank you to everyone who made the Spring Break project such a great success!

April 8, 2014

  • Many thanks to our former Guidance Counselor Nancy Fahrbach and to our EC teacher (and Fuel Up Board Member) Terri Fannin, as well as the two young members of Mrs. fannin's church who came to the school to distribute bags to participants from 5:00-7:00 tonight. This window of time allows parents whose work schedules don't permit them to come during the school day to pick up their children's bags, and it is a very popular pick-up option.

One of the parents who picked up bags tonight told them, "Thanks for all of this great food--it really helps so much!" 

April 7, 2014

  • What a fantastic morning!

First, I had an amazing experience at Walmart: In addition to providing $100 towards the purchase of fresh fruit, milk and other perishable items for each of the participants, they had their entire team ready to help me get the freshest items they had in the store loaded up in carts and rung up quickly. Thanks to the Walmart Team's efforts, I got to school in record time to meet "the Dream Team of Packing," who were ready to get to work!

This great group made short work of adding supplemental items to the already-abundant Spring Break bags for our participants.  They added breakfast & snack items, made goody bags, assembled bags of refrigerated items (yogurt tubes, cheese sticks, half gallons of milk, ready-to-eat carrots, deli meat), and assembled bags containing at least 8 pieces of fresh fruit each (two varieties of apples, two bananas, two oranges and at least two clementines). These supplemental items were provided through a donation from Walmart, another donated gift card and monetary gifts from steadfast Fuel Up supporters.

The bags are all lined up in numerical order, and are ready to be picked up by participants' parents now! We appreciate EVERYONE who contributed to this project -- thank you!

April 4, 2014

  • As we were collecting the bags that were "adopted" for the 9-day spring break, our Guidance Counselor approached us about serving a new child in need.  Because we had generous monetary donations for Spring Break in addition to the bags sponsored by community members, we were happy to be able to add our 46th participant to the program. Thanks to all of you for making it easy to say "yes!"
  • We appreciate everyone who shopped for  (or provided funds for our committee to shop for) each of the children -- You outdid yourselves! The bags were literally overflowing with great food, and even fun surprises and activity kits to make the break more fun for these children. A giant THANK YOU to the following people who "adopted" bags for Spring Break:
    • Lindsay Alteri
    • The Barnes Family
    • Stacy Blank
    • Mandy Bowen
    • Beth Chang
    • Chesley Cuicchi
    • The Dell Family
    • Jaime Detzi
    • Pam Dominick
    • Amy & John Dowden
    • Catherine & Bruce Ellis
    • Christina and Jimmy Ford
    • Molly Foster
    • The Geizer Family
    • The Goyea Family
    • Missy Hagan
    • Lisa Hartman
    • Mattias Jonsson
    • The Kennedy family
    • Dave Klein
    • Martha and Charlie Lewis
    • Connie and Ed McCraw
    • Becket McGough
    • Ana Owusu-Tyo
    • Karrie Porco
    • Vivian Quimbaya-Winship
    • Wayland and Judy Ramage 
    • The Rubinas Family
    • Heba Salama
    • The Shectman Family
    • Hilda Scull
    • Lisa Skumpija
    • Jamie and Erik Swaine
    • The Terrell family
    • Christine Williams
    • Corey Williams

March 28, 2014

  • Our school's Guidance Counselor requested that we add two additional students to the program earlier this week, so we are now serving 45 children. Incredibly, all 45 participants' bags were "adopted" for Spring Break within six days! It was a phenomenal response, and we are phenomenally grateful!

March 24, 2014

  • Believe it or not, it's time to start thinking about Spring Break! As in the past, we're going to ask people to "adopt" a bag for the upcoming 9-day break. That means we'll give volunteers a list of items to buy (about $50 worth) and tell them the child's bag number/whether they're shopping for a boy or girl/what grade the student is in. You'd simply buy the items on the list, pack them in brown paper grocery bags labeled with the assigned child's number, and drop them off in the school's office by Friday 4/4.

If you'd like to help, please email Jen Buckmire at or Sarah Blake Finigan at to get a bag assignment and shopping list.

March 21, 2014

  • Yesterday afternoon was a lot of fun. We built a CANStruction with the Third Graders -- You know, that really cool anchor you see as you walk in the school's lobby!

After enjoying a snack and talking a little bit about volunteerism, Third Graders rotated around to different activities: One rotation learned about Spring veggies that grow locally, then tested their knowledge in a round of Local Veggie Jeopardy; the next did crossword and word search puzzles with Fuel Up-related words; the next rotation sorted cans by color/size and shuttled them up to the builders; then the final rotation involved the actual building with cans, including getting to make a link for the anchor's chain. All of the children had the opportunity to participate in each of the activities. As usual, it was a lot of activity to pack into an hour and fifteen minutes, but volunteers and students all had a great time!

March 14, 2014

  • This week, we held our annual Spring food drive and CANStruction contest. The grade that collected the most cans won the privilege of building a CANStruction in the school's lobby.

  • We had a great show of support from all the grades. Check out these totals:
    • Pre-K - 17 cans
    • Kindergarten - 134 cans
    • 1st Grade - 143 cans
    • 2nd Grade - 89 cans
    • 3rd Grade - 219 cans
    • 4th Grade - 179 cans
    • 5th Grade - 127 cans
  • In all, 908 items were contributed to Fuel Up at PHS this week, which is awesome! We are looking forward to building with the Third Graders next week, and are so appreciative of ALL grades' participation in our food drive. Thank you so much!

February 28, 2014

  • On Tuesday night, Bean and Barrel in Governor's Village hosted a fundraiser for Fuel Up at PHS. If people said they were there to support Fuel Up, Bean & Barrel donated 10% of their total bill to Fuel Up at PHS. Considering that we had to reschedule the event to this week due to snow the week of 2/11, there was a really nice turnout, and it couldn't have been any easier (or more fun!) for us. Many thanks to Jason Dell and Laurie Allen for accommodating us, and to all the PHS families who came out to support Fuel Up at PHS.

February 25, 2014

  • Thanks to the support of Carolina Meadows, Galloway Ridge and private donors, THREE additional students are being served this week, making our current total 43 participating children! 
February 14, 2014
  • It has been much colder than usual this winter, and we've had multiple days off of school due to the weather. Someone just asked me if we help the kids who rely on school meal assistance programs when school is cancelled (and they won't get breakfast at lunch or school). While we wish we could do more, Fuel Up at PHS jumps into action when there's wintry weather in the forecast to make "inclement weather bags!"

Depending on how severe the weather is forecasted to be, we rush out to the store to buy enough food to last for the amount of time we'll potentially be away from school. (Yes, there's some guesswork involved, so we err on the side of generosity). We choose items that could be prepared and eaten even if there's no power, and we pack the items in large brown lunch bags. Finally, we rush over to school with the completed bags to distribute them as quickly as possible.

This photo shows what went into the inclement weather kits last week:

  • Note that without the generous contributions we've received from Carolina Meadows, Galloway Ridge, and all of you, we wouldn't be able to make these supplemental food bags. Thanks for helping us make snow days healthier and safer for kids in our community.

December 31, 2013

  • We want to acknowledge Holiday gifts made to Fuel Up in honor of some very special people:
    • Eric Brantley & Debbie Meyer - each in honor of the other
    • The Cuicchi/Hagan Family -  in honor of Paul & Rosemary Cuicchi and Christine Cuicchi
    • The Hartman family - in honor of Dennis McAvey & Carolyn Hartman, Ron & Sara Boardman and Barry & Diane Hensley
    • Robert & Peggy Nelson's Forever Rely on God (FROG) Fund administered by the NC Community Foundation - in celebration of their family
    • John & Sue Newell - in honor of Connie & Ed McCraw
    • Rachel & Andy Ruvo - in honor of Andy's partners David Frost, Deb Sacco, Adam Serlo and Brian Vandersea
    • The Terrell Family - in honor of Mr. & Mrs. Clay Thorp & their family
    • Stacey Yusko - in appreciation for Mary Beth Grealey's dedication to Meals on Wheels

December 18, 2013

  • An amazing group of volunteers came together to accomplish a huge task: providing enough food to last the 16-day Winter Break for each of the 43 children who currently participate in Fuel Up at PHS! It happened in two stages: 1) People "adopted" bags by buying everything on a list of prescribed items and dropping them off in bags labeled with the assigned child's Fuel Up number. 2) A team of volunteers assembled supplemental items for each child (bags of baby carrots, milk, cheese, deli meat and yogurt; bags containing a variety of fresh fruit; bags with additional breakfast and snack items, etc.). The supplemental items were added to each child's bags; then the "finished" bags were lined up in numerical order to make it easy for the Guidance Counselor to find the right bags when participants' parents began arriving to pick them up. 

This project went smoothly thanks to the efforts of many people. We appreciate all of the volunteers who shopped for each of the children (or made contributions so we could buy the prescribed items for each child) and the volunteers who came to assemble the supplemental items:

    • The Benjamin-Danner Family
    • The Berly Family
    • Richard & Mandy Bowen
    • The Bowman Family
    • Eric Brantley & Debbie Meyer
    • Frank & Chesley Cuicchi
    • Jason & Susan Dell
    • Erin Denniston
    • The Detzi Family
    • Pam Dominick
    • The Ellis Family
    • The Evans Family
    • James & Christina Ford
    • Clara A. Missy Hagan
    • Lisa & Scott Hartman
    • Ashley Frost & Tioga Honigmann
    • The Kapilovic Family
    • Dave Klein
    • Tammy Lee & David Brown
    • The Lerch Family
    • Charlie & Martha Lewis
    • Connie & Ed McCraw
    • Becket & Richard McGough
    • Michael McGregor
    • Joy McKeon
    • Tracy Platt
    • Wayland & Judy Ramage
    • The Sandiford Family
    • Jamie & Erick Swaine
    • The Terrell Family
    • Ann Waller
    • Amy Wiley
  • A special "Thank you!" to our Guidance Counselor Leann Muñoz, who has already put many hours into the process of making reminder calls and setting up convenient times for families to pick up their bags. Her children have been great sports too!

Thanks also to Mrs. Fannin and members of her church who came to school from 5:30-7:00 yesterday to accommodate parents whose work schedules don't allow them to pick up bags during school hours. This is such a busy time of year, so everyone's time and effort are a huge gift.

December 16, 2013

  • Over the weekend, a PHS parent hosted a "stocking stuffing party" where her children and their friends gathered to make stockings for children in our community who might not otherwise receive them. In addition to the stockings they made for a community organization, they also made some for students in need at PHS. Lesley Matthews gave dozens of them to the Guidance Counselor so she could determine who might really appreciate them. Mrs. Muñoz determined that some of our participants will receive them, along with their bags of food for Winter Break. We think this is a cool Holiday Party idea for kids, and are excited that some of our program's participants will benefit from these little party-goers' efforts. Thanks Lesley!

December 6, 2013

  • Last night was the Chapel Hill Giving Party, which is my favorite way to kick off the "Season of Giving." That's not just because we've been fortunate enough to be included again as one of the charitable organizations promoted at the event! First of all, these hostesses (Mary Beth Grealey, Perri Kersh, Casey Saussy and Sue Egnoto) are truly inspiring -- They are busy wives/Moms/professionals who not only throw great parties, but who are are also deeply committed to community service. Second, it's really exciting to participate in a gathering of organizations in our area who are working hard to try to improve life in our community. Third, it's uplifting to talk with all of the party's guests: interesting people who have come to give -- time, advice, financial support -- to community organizations that resonate with them. All in all, it's a total "feel-good" event! Fuel Up at PHS raised about $2150 last night, which will allow us to add more children before the upcoming Winter Break -- What a great gift!

December 3, 2013

  • It's not too late to "adopt a box" for the Holidays! As in previous years, we'll provide you with a shopping list with about $60 of items, then you simply shop for the items and drop them off at Perry Harrison School any time next Friday (Dec 13) or before 9:00 on Monday December 16. This can be a meaningful Holiday activity to do with your children! Please contact Jen Buckmire at and ask for a box assignment if you'd like to help.

Too busy to shop but wish you could participate? Make a check out to "Fuel Up at PHS" with "Holiday Box" on the memo line or contact Sarah Blake Finigan at if you'd prefer to pay by credit or debit card.

If you'd like to donate these items in honor of a friend or family member, we'll be happy to give you a Christmas or Hanukkah card to give the honoree so they know what a cool gift you've given in their name.

November 30, 2013

  • Wow, the last week and a half have been incredible! We have just been awarded a very generous grant from the Galloway Ridge Charitable Fund. We are thrilled to be partnering with our friends at Fearrington again, and appreciate being selected for this grant, especially knowing how many worthy organizations in our community applied for these funds.

Thanks to the generosity of this community, we will now be able to add eight children to the program that our Guidance Counselor and Social Worker have identified as "high need." That brings the number of children participating in our program up to 40!

November 23, 2013

  • Members of Cedar Grove UMC put on an awesome community event today: There was a bouncy house for the children, a bluegrass band for everyone to enjoy, and a dedicated group of churchmen who had been up half the night preparing amazingly tender grilled chicken..and did I mention the cupcakes? There was literally a wall lined with tables, each with a different flavor cupcake to tempt even the most disciplined eaters. 

Despite an ominous weather forecast, the rain held off, and it was a great afternoon of food and fellowship, all to benefit Fuel Up at PHS -- What an honor for our organization! This event raised $1500, which will go a long way towards eliminating our waiting list.

We are grateful beyond words for the time, love and energy that Pastor Leah Skaggs, event coordinator Jeanett Atwater and so many other parishioners put into this fantastic Fall Fun Day. Thank you Cedar Grove UMC!

November 19, 2013

  • We've just received notification that we have been awarded a very generous grant from the Carolina Meadows Community Grants Program! Carolina Meadows has been an important partner since our first year of operation, and we are so pleased that they have elected to continue supporting our organization. 

Given the fact that there are new cuts to Government Food Assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps), the need for our program and other community programs that provide supplemental food assistance is greater than ever. We could not provide the quality and quantity of food we think is important without the assistance of this grant from Carolina Meadows and the support of this generous community.

October 25, 2013

  • Our Fall Food Drive was October 15-22, and was a great success: We collected 305 canned goods, 52 boxes of snack/breakfast food items, and 28 family-sized items (which will be perfect for the fast-approaching Winter Break.) Additionally, $375 were donated during this drive! 

A big thank-you to everyone who contributed to the success of this event, including those who volunteered their time to count and shelve the donated items. Special thanks to Liza and Mika, who eagerly helped before and after school.

Because of the generosity of our school community, we're adding eight more children to the program this week, bringing the total number of participants to 32.

September 20, 2013

  • Thanks to some very generous donations, we've added four more children to the program, and sent bags home with 24 children this weekend. We appreciate all of the generous contributions that are helping us expand!

September 11, 2013

  • Bags went home today with 20 children. We're excited to welcome some new volunteers to our team, and are looking forward to what will certainly be a challenging year.

In addition to the 20 children we packed bags for today, there are 20 more on a waiting list. The school Guidance Counselor and Social Worker are interviewing the new applicants' parents and trying to determine where the greatest needs may be, while we work to secure additional funding so that we may comfortably add more students to the program.

August 28 , 2013

  • Earlier this month, we had the great privilege of speaking to members of Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist about Fuel Up at PHS. Their congregation "shared the plate" with us, and collected $827.84 for us to use to purchase nutritious food for children in our community who live in food-insecure homes. Considering that a weekend's worth of food for a child costs us about $15, this is enough to provide at least 55 weekend bags -- What a great way to head into the school year!

August 25, 2013

  • This summer, we offered a Fuel Up “Summer Gap Program,” which provided participating students with large bags of food each week of the summer break. 22 students were served by this program, thanks to a grant from Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church, as well as the generous participation of 20 families in our school community, who helped shop for food and pack bags each week!

Many thanks to the Barnes Family, the Becks, The Benjamin/Danner Family, the Dells, the Detzis, Pam Dominick, the Ford Family, the Frost/Honigmann Family, the Godehns, the Goyeas,  Kate House, the Kennedy Family, Kay Irish, the Lee/Brown Family, the Lewis Family, the McCraws, the Ramages, the Ruvo Family, the Terrell's and Amy Wiley. Special thanks also goes to Lee Calicutt and Dawn Williams in the office who helped us coordinate with participants' families, and the Administrative a Team, who graciously allowed us to use the school office as the weekly bag pick-up site.

August 17, 2013

  • Today CORA hosted a meeting for the coordinators of all of the weekend food programs in Chatham County. As always, this was a wonderful opportunity to share information about our operations and to get new ideas for fundraising. The other benefit is that when we get together, we place a bulk order from the "Project Preserve" Food Bank, which allows us to purchase items like shelf-stable milk boxes and fruit cups at a fraction of what we'd pay in stores. The items should arrive in time for our first packing session at the beginning of September!

March 7, 2013

  • Since they collected more cans for Fuel Up at PHS than any other grade during our Spring Food Drive and CanStruction Contest, our Kindergarten classes won the privilege of building a CanStruction in the school's lobby. That made for a lively afternoon of learning about nutrition, voluntarism, and how much fun it is to build with cans!

In order to manage the number of Kindergarteners who stayed to help (almost 60!), we divided them into groups of 11-12 for each of the 5 different stations they rotated through: 

  • Learning about voluntarism and doing word puzzle activities 
  • Sorting donated cans by color and size (a great Kindergarten Math activity) and shuttling them to the building area
  • Learning about nutrition and sampling local sweet collards and apples with Gini from Farmer FoodShare (This was a huge hit! Thanks Gini!)
  • A craft station where each child made and decorated a link for the anchor's chain
  • Taking turns actually building the CanStruction

The end result of the controlled chaos was this super-cool CanStruction: the front of a ship! Many thanks to ALL of the volunteers who put so much time and energy into this fun event.

March 5, 2013

  • Tonight was the First Quarter Board Meeting for Fuel Up at PHS. Despite the rainy weather, we had a nice turnout. Many thanks to all who attended, especially our school's dedicated Administrative Team.

In addition to the usual topics covered (Events since our last meeting, current and future  plans, budget, etc.) we were able to hear from our Program Coordinator about the Hunger Relief Summit she attended on Thursday, which was coordinated by OneChatham, Farmer FoodShare and the Chatham County Health Department. This event was a forum for sharing information about various hunger-related efforts and opportunities in our community. It was a great opportunity for all involved, and it will be exciting to see some of the new relationships derived from this Summit in action!

March 1, 2013

  • We had an amazing show of support for our Spring Food Drive and CanStruction Contest: 991 cans were collected in just one week! In a heated competition, the Kindergarteners prevailed with a total of 243 cans. They will have the privilege of building a CanStruction in our school's lobby next week using the cans they've collected. 

Congratulations Kindergarteners, and many thanks to everyone who donated cans this week. We are so appreciative of the generosity of our school community!

February 22, 2013

Today we met with the Farmer FoodShare team to talk about additional ways we might work together in the future. Farmer FoodShare would like to be more involved in nutrition education, and they are currently working on simple, child-friendly recipes and food fact sheets. We would be thrilled to add these to our Fuel Up bags, especially when we're providing the foods featured in them! Farmer FoodShare will also be helping provide some of the fresh produce for our Summer Gap program this year. 

These energetic women are doing so much to connect the community growers who have a surplus of food and community organizations who can get this food into the hands of hungry people in our community. We applaud them, and are so pleased to be able to partner with them! To learn more about Farmer Foodshare, please visit their website:

February 18, 2013

  • We are having a canned food drive at Perry Harrison School to benefit Fuel Up at PHS! The grade that brings in the most canned goods between Thursday, February 21st and Thursday, February 28th will win the privilege of building a CanStruction in the PHS lobby. (Building will take place after school from 2:45-4:15pm on Thursday, March 7)

Please send in canned foods that kids like, preferably with easy-open tops. Examples are as follows:

    • Chef Boyardee (or store-brand) ravioli, beef-a-roni, spaghetti & meatballs, Spaghetti-os or lasagna (The “jumbo” or “big” kinds have more protein).
    • Canned soups (Chicken noodle, beef stew, potato soup, chicken & dumplings, tomato soup, and chili are the favorites)
    • Canned vegetables—low sodium, please (Favorites are corn, green beans, peas, carrots, mixed vegetables, lima beans and baked beans)
    • Canned fruit (Peaches, pears, mandarin oranges, pineapple chunks and fruit cocktail are the favorite canned fruits)
    • Canned chicken, canned tuna, Beanie Weenies/pork & beans, or Vienna sausages

Please check expiration dates on the cans!

Food can be sent to school with your child (Collection boxes will be in each hallway’s workroom) or dropped off in the Fuel Up collection bin in the entrance hallway at PHS.

*Be sure to mark your child’s grade on any bags or boxes of food you send in so their class gets credit!*

January 9, 2013

Happy New Year!

New Bins!

Speaking of things that are new, check out the new shelves that were built for us, and the new bin system that two of our clever volunteers came up with (Thanks Kat and Michelle)! 

As you see, each Fuel Up participant has their own bin, labeled with their Fuel Up number and any special information volunteers would need to know when preparing their bag each week (food allergies/special preferences, grade, gender and participating siblings). This new system should not require much more time for the set-up team, but should make things go even more quickly for the packing team. Stay tuned for an update…

Meanwhile, another exciting new development: There is now a Fuel Up program at Northwood High School! A PHS parent who is also a teacher at Northwood is coordinating the program there. We are thrilled to be working with her as it gets off the ground – There is a well-documented need for a weekend food program that serves high school students in our community. Please contact DeLisa Cohen at dcohen @ if you are interested in helping with the program at Northwood.

December 21, 2012

The Fuel Up Holiday bags have all been picked up or delivered. As I imagined, the response to the amount of food provided by our volunteers and grantors has been overwhelmingly positive. Our Guidance Counselor says that participants’ parents were so pleased and so very appreciative of these gifts. Thanks again to everyone who participated in the Holiday Adopt-A-Box Project -- It took many hands and many volunteer hours, but what an awesome outcome!

December 15, 2012

  • As we’ve done in years past, we asked volunteers to participate in our “Holiday Adopt-A-Box Project.” Essentially, they were asked to shop for shelf-stable food items detailed on a list, or to fund a child’s Holiday Box which was shopped for by a committee member. Volunteers knew whether the child(ren) they were shopping for were male or female and what grade they were in. That information not only makes the volunteer experience more personal, but also allowed people to more easily choose food (and even “bonus items”) that they thought the child might enjoy. Wow, did we have incredibly thoughtful and generous volunteers -- Our program’s participants will surely be thrilled when they see all of the overflowing bags waiting for them!

Several of our regular committee members as well as some community volunteers came to school today to add supplemental items to each child’s bags. There was a group adding food items, a group making goody bags, a group making bags of refrigerated items (yogurt tubes, cheese sticks, half gallons of milk, ready-to-eat carrots, etc), and a group checking to be sure everyone had everything that was prescribed for each bag. Thanks to all of the volunteers who shared their time and talents during this busy time of year. Special thanks to high school students Caitlyn and Matt who are former PHS students, and to recent college graduate Lauren: You are excellent role models for all of our children! 

Holiday boxes were supported by the following generous donors:

  • The Aguiar Family
  • The Barnes Family
  • The Benjamin-Danner Family
  • Debbie Meyer and Eric Brantley
  • The Lee-Brown Family
  • The Cuicchi’s
  • The Delano Family
  • The Detzi Family
  • The Dominick Family
  • The Dowden Family
  • The Ellis Family
  • The Godehn Family
  • The Grealey Family
  • The Frost-Honigmann Family
  • The Gordon-Escobar’s, in honor of Terri Fannin
  • The Harrington Family
  • The Holland’s, in honor of Terri Fannin
  • The Kennedy Family
  • The Lewis Family in honor of Vivian Buhrman, Sheila Stillman, and Shawna Herbst
  • Jim & Kay Mann
  • The Mattson Family
  • Connie & Ed McCraw
  • John & Skinner McGee
  • John McGee, Jr
  • The McGough Family
  • The Mitchell Family
  • The Munoz Family
  • The Pardington Family
  • Wayland and Judy Ramage in honor of William and Norma Ramage
  • The Ruvo’s, in honor of Dr. Frost, Dr. Sacco, Dr. Serlo and Dr. Vandersea
  • The Skumpija Family
  • The Sparrow Family
  • Anne Taylor, in honor of Donna O’Rourke
  • The Thompson Family
  • Amy Wiley
  • and volunteers who wish to remain anonymous

December 3, 2012

More great news: We have been awarded a very generous grant by Carolina Meadows Community Grants Program! Carolina Meadows has supported our organization since the first year we were in operation (This is our fifth year!). We are so grateful for their continued partnership in our efforts to reduce the number of hungry children in our community.

November 30, 2012

  • Fuel Up at PHS was fortunate enough to be invited to participate in the Chapel Hill Giving Party again this year! Last night, we visited with dozens of people in our community who were excited about what we’re doing, and about being able to be part of it. Not only did we have a wonderful time, we were able to raise a little more than $3200 for Fuel Up at PHS! Considering that we’ve just been asked to add additional children to the program, the timing could not be better. Many thanks to our four amazing hostesses and their generous guests for a fantastic start to the Holiday Season.

November 26, 2012

  • The Fuel Up Fall Food Drive held November 15-20 was a HUGE success! We appreciate Coach Sipe using the World Speed Stacking Event (WSSA) to advocate for Fuel Up by asking Mariners to "Stock Up to Stack Up" as a way to kickstart our canned food drive.  

Thanks to an outpouring of support from our PHS family, we collected 631 canned goods, and 103 juice boxes and snack items. These donations will help to carry the program to the holiday break. The Fuel Up committee is extremely grateful for and humbled by the generosity of our school community!  

October 10, 2012

  • The school year is off to a good start. We are thrilled to welcome some new volunteers to our organization, especially considering that we have a greater-than-anticipated demand for the program! 

Considering both local redistricting and the economic climate, we did anticipate a high demand for our program this year. Even with eight of last year’s participants moving on to Pollard Middle School, we still began the 2012-2013 School Year with 25 participants, and have already rapidly expanded to serve 37 children. Typically, we see another increase right before and after the Holidays, so we will need to be more aggressive in our fundraising efforts for the remainder of the fiscal year.

August 17, 2012

  • This Wednesday was the last drop-off day for the Summer Gap program. Even though school (and our regular program) won’t begin until 8/27, we make this the last week for pick-up because it would be hard to protect the privacy of the participants with the flurry of the activity that will begin in the office when teachers return on Monday. The bags are always packed very generously, but I wish I had taken a picture of the overflowing bags waiting for each child this past Wednesday!

Feedback from the 29 Summer Gap participants’ parents has been humbling. They were so appreciative of the bags full of food and garden veggies volunteers dropped off each week, and of the supplemental items we were able to purchase with our granted funds.

Feedback from families who “adopted” bags has also been overwhelmingly positive. Obviously, the Summer Gap program (and participant satisfaction) would not have been possible without these generous volunteers who shopped for food and dropped it off at school each Wednesday of the Summer Break:

    • The Barnett family
    • The Barnes family
    • The Bell family
    • The Bond family
    • The Buckmire family
    • The Detzi family
    • The Dowden family
    • The Dominick family
    • Linda Fearrington
    • The Frost-Honigmann family
    • The Goedehn family
    • The Goyea family
    • The Kennedy family
    • The LaPalme family
    • The Lee-Brown family
    • Ed and Connie McCraw
    • The McGough family
    • The Millard family
    • The Millis family
    • The Pryor family
    • The Ritter family
    • The Ruvo family
    • The Schectman family
    • Amy Wiley
    • and families who wish to remain anonymous

June 15, 2012

  • For those of you who aren’t familiar with our Summer Gap program, we began it the summer after our first year of operation because we recognized that our program is perhaps even more needed in the summer months, when school meal assistance programs aren’t available. Because volunteer (and financial) resources are limited in the summer, we developed a way to provide a week’s worth of food each week of the 10-week Summer Break: 

Families in the community are asked to shop for prescribed items (a Master List is given at the beginning of the summer with a specific shopping list for each week). They pack the items in brown paper grocery bags, label the bags they’ve packed with the assigned number of the child whose bag they’ve “adopted” and drop them off in the school office each Wednesday morning. Parents of participating children come to school on Wednesday afternoons to pick up their child(ren)’s bags. (Delivery is available for parents who lack transportation.)

This past Wednesday was the first “pick-up day” of our Summer Gap program, and it went beautifully! All of the families who “adopted” bags for the summer dropped off bags overflowing with food, and PHS families who have large gardens also dropped off large boxes of organic fruits and veggies. We hear that the participants’ parents were surprised and thankful to see how much food was provided.

Better still, we’ve been informed that we’ve been selected to receive a generous grant from the Chapel of the Cross’ ABC Subcommittee again this summer! That means that we will be able to provide more fresh foods such as milk, deli meat, cheese, yogurt tubes and eggs in addition to the shelf-stable foods provided by families who “adopted” bags for the summer.  Summer is definitely off to a great start!

May 5, 2012

  • Instead of holding our annual CanStruction event, a retiring teacher asked if she could instead host a “Fuel Up and Dance” fundraiser as her going-away party.  While we love our CanStruction tradition, we thought this sounded like fun: Ms. Mensah recruited a DJ to volunteer for the event, and planned an evening of food and dancing in the school’s Multi-Purpose Room.  229 items were collected last night, and attendees said that it was loads of fun. We will miss Ms. Mensah’s creativity and generosity, and wish her well in her retirement.

April 5, 2012

  • This past Saturday morning, a lively bunch of volunteers gathered at school to pack bags for the 12-day Spring Break that begins tomorrow. We literally lined an entire hallway with food; then volunteers used check-lists to ensure that all of the prescribed items were packed for each of the 48 participants. This was accomplished quickly, and was lots of fun! Many thanks to everyone who gave their time and energy to this effort and to Mrs. Frazier who generously allowed us access to school on a Saturday.

Participants’ parents have steadily been picking up the Spring Break bags over the last few days. Mrs. Munoz stayed until after 7:00 last night to accommodate parents whose work schedules don’t allow them to pick up bags during school hours. The school’s wonderful administrative staff and Mrs. Munoz report that parents are excited and overwhelmed by the quantity of food, both fresh and shelf-stable, that was waiting for them. We thank our generous grantors and private donors for making it possible to provide 12 days’ worth of food for each of these children.

February, 2012

  • As is often the case after the Holidays, our numbers have grown! We are currently serving 48 children each week. In order to accommodate the increased demand, we’ve changed our procedures a bit this school year: We’re setting up for the packing sessions on Tuesday afternoons (putting the correct number of each item out on the counters, dividing the fruit and preparing the returned bags) and packing the bags on Wednesday mornings.  Having two shorter sessions that are each a little over an hour makes it easier for our busy volunteers than one long session. 
December 8, 2011
  • As we’ve done in the past, we offered families in the community the opportunity to “adopt” a box for the Holiday Break: Volunteers were asked to shop for specific items on a master shopping list which, when combined with supplemental food purchased with granted funds, was designed to provide adequate food for the 16-day Winter Break,. Today was the day volunteers dropped off their bags, and it was amazing to see all of the food (and “bonus items”) people packed for their “adoptees.” It‘s truly overwhelming to see the generosity of this community! 
To all of the families who shopped for food and delivered it to school today, and to the dedicated volunteers (especially Liza!) who helped prepare and pack supplemental items for each of the 39 children: THANK YOU! Many hours went into the preparation of these bags, and it’s exciting to see them lined up, ready to be picked up and enjoyed.

Recognition goes to:
  • The Allen family
  • The Barnes family
  • The California-Aguiar family
  • The Benjamin-Danner family
  • The Buckmire family
  • The Donaldson family
  • The Dowden family
  • The Ellis family
  • Linda Fearrington
  • The Frost-Honigmann family
  • The Goyea family
  • The Harrington family, in honor of Bonnie Harrington and Jane Reece
  • The Kennedy family
  • The Lee-Brown family
  • Ed and Connie McCraw
  • The McGough family
  • Jim and Kay Mann
  • The Merchant family
  • The Meyer-Brantley family
  • The Millard family
  • The Millis family
  • The Porter family
  • The Pryor family
  • The Ritter family
  • The Roselle family
  • The Rubinas family
  • The Ruvo family, in honor of Dave Frost, Deb Sacco, Adam Serlo and Brian Vandersea
  • The Skumpija family
  • The Taylor family, in honor of Anne O’Rourke
  • Amy Wiley
  • Avis Wiley-Bell, in honor of Jessica Bell
  • and families who wish to remain anonymous

December 5, 2011
  • Last Thursday night at the Chapel Hill Giving Party, we raised almost $4,000 for Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School! Not only was it an amazing fundraising event for us, it was a great opportunity to celebrate some of the good that has stemmed directly from the past Giving Parties: For example, the weekend food program we developed for Rashkis Elementary in Chapel Hill, which now serves 35 children each week. Better yet, it looks as if Fuel Up at PHS will be helping a new Giving Party attendee launch a Fuel Up program at yet another elementary school in Chapel Hill this Spring! Stay tuned...
Meanwhile, many thanks to the amazing hostesses of the Chapel Hill Giving Party and to all of the women (and the few brave men!) who came to share their resources with us and other deserving organizations in the community -- It was such a pleasure!

Because of the generous contributions made to Fuel Up at PHS, there was no need to hesitate for even a second when the school's Guidance Counselor requested that we add two additional students to the program this morning. What a relief to know that they won't be spending the upcoming Winter Break feeling hungry!

November 23, 2011
  • Coach Sipe asked Perry Harrison School students to participate in the WSSA Stack Up Event, whose goal was to help set a new Guinness World Record for the most people sport stacking in different locations. Better yet, she asked Mariner families to “stack for a cause.” On the first day of our Fall Food Drive (November 17th), 400 cans were donated to Fuel Up at PHS – a record for the most cans brought to school in one day! In total, we collected 636 items in this 4-day food drive. Many thanks to everyone who participated in the “Stack Up” event, and to everyone who supported Fuel Up at PHS in the process.
November 1, 2011
  • The Carolina Meadows Community Grants program has awarded a very generous grant to Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School, which will help us continue to provide the quality and quantity of food we think it’s important to provide for our program’s participants. We feel very fortunate to have their continued support for our efforts to reduce the number of hungry children in our community.
September 26, 2011
  • As predicted, the number of children participating in Fuel Up at PHS is steadily growing. We are currently serving 42 children each weekend.  Many thanks to everyone who has donated food or funds this Fall to help sustain our program!
September 7, 2011
  • New bags went home with 38 children today. We anticipate that the number of applications will rise in the next few weeks as families get to know our new Guidance Counselor. Welcome, Mrs. Munoz!
August 10, 2011
  • Wow, the summer flew by! Teachers are beginning to prepare their classrooms, and we are wrapping up the second Summer Gap program. This summer we served 41 students, thanks to all of the generous families who helped shop for food and delivered bags to school each week, the people who grew and shared copious amounts of fresh garden vegetables and fruit each week, and the children in church and Scout groups who collected supplemental food on our behalf. Participation was meaningful for both the “adoptive families” and the children who received bags of food each week:
  • Once again, 100% of the families who “adopted” bags for the summer said they were glad they had done so!  One participant remarked, “We were richly blessed by this opportunity to participate in caring for a child in our community.”
  • One of the program participants’ parents wrote a note: “Things have been tough this summer. Without this help, I don’t know how she would have eaten some days.”
  • It’s really heartwarming to know that this effort really does make a difference for children in our community, and that the people who volunteer their time and resources get so much out of the experience as well.
  • Many thanks to everyone who helped make the Summer Gap program a success!
    • Michelle & Davide Aguiar
    • The Barnett Family
    • Dan Barnwell
    • Avis Bell
    • The Benjamin/Danner Family
    • The Brown/Lee Family
    • Janice & Ken Bush
    • The Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church
    • Daisies/Brownies Troop 3287
    • The Detzi Family
    • Amy & John Dowden
    • The Ellis Family
    • Tammie Eddins
    • Linda Fearrington
    • Janice Frazier
    • The Frost Family
    • Kat & John Godehn
    • Sarah & Eddie Goyea
    • Mary Beth & Ed Grealey
    • Kimberly Harris
    • Kathleen & Jack Hunter
    • The Kennedy Family
    • Julie Crowe & Bill Koeb
    • Connie & Ed McCraw
    • The McGough Family
    • Melanie & Mackenzie Mason
    • Mark & Gerri Mattson
    • Debbie Meyer & Eric Brantley
    • The Millard Family
    • The Millis Family
    • Catherine O’Rourke
    • Donna O’Rourke
    • Tiffany & Todd Pryor
    • The Ritter Family
    • The Rubinas Family
    • The Ruvo Family
    • The Szczypinski Family
    • Amy & Megan Trayes
    • Leah & Ian Vigus
    • Amy Wiley
    • Dawn Williams
    • And Families who wish to remain anonymous

June 15, 2011
  • Today, a week’s worth of food was provided for each of the 40 children who applied for this year’s Fuel Up Summer Gap program. While we’re serving several more students than last summer (see news from August 2010), everything went smoothly today thanks to all of the volunteers involved. Just like last summer, “adoptive families” shopped for prescribed food items and filled large grocery bags with (primarily shelf-stable) food for a specific child. Money granted by the Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church for use in the Summer Gap program will help purchase a variety of fresh foods (fruit, vegetables, milk, eggs, cheese, deli meat and other perishable items) each week this summer.
April 15, 2011
  • Last week, we held the third annual Fuel Up food Drive and CanStruction Contest. The grade that collected the most food "won" the privilege of building a CanStruction in the school's lobby with all of the cans collected during the drive. 689 total items were collected during this year's canned food drive. That's four more cans than were contributed last year, which is even more impressive, considering that last year's totals came from Middle School students as well. Every grade at Perry Harrison School, from Pre-K to 5th grade, contributed cans! The grade level that donated the most cans (aka The Big Winner) was second grade, with a total of 162 cans. 5th grade was second with 124 cans and the Third grade was close behind with 115 cans. Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School is grateful to ALL grades for your participation in our canned food drive!
Look at what a great job Second Grade students did of building a lighthouse with cans. Way to go, Mariners!

During the CanStruction building event, Second Grade students learned about volunteerism and about what Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School does to help reduce the number of hungry children in our community. They were then divided into four groups: One group learned about nutrition, and how to look for lower fat and lower sodium options in canned food when fresh food isn't an option; one group shuttled food from the collection area to the building area; one group worked on a crossword puzzle and a word search made with words and clues Fuel Up/the CanStruction event; and the fourth group got to build the structure with cans. Each group rotated so that all students would be able to participate in each of the four activities. It was a great learning opportunity, but it was also a lot of fun! Many thanks to all of our CanStruction volunteers, both students and adults!
March 3, 2011
  • We held the First Quarter Meeting of our Board of Directors tonight. In addition to planning the third annual Fuel Up CanStruction event in April, we decided that we will offer a "Summer Gap" program again this year. More information about how this year's 10-week summer food program will work will be available early in May, so please stay tuned...
February 16, 2011
  • Fuel Up added a new family to the program today just in time for the upcoming long weekend. With these additional children, we're now serving 47 children each week!
January 31, 2011
  • On January 8th, we had the great pleasure of meeting with the staff members of CORA, along with coordinators of the other weekend food programs in Chatham County. CORA not only offered us the opportunity to “compare notes” with one another, but also offered us an exciting opportunity to maximize our food budgets: By pooling our orders to achieve greater volume, we will be able to purchase select items such as milk and fruit cups from a neighboring food bank at a greatly discounted rate. CORA’s Board of Directors voted to allow CORA to place the bulk order and be reimbursed by the individual programs, and voted to cover the cost of shipping in order to incent everyone to place larger orders. We are very appreciative of this opportunity to partner with CORA and the other weekend food programs in Chatham County.
January 6, 2011
  • Happy New Year!
In addition to beginning a new year, we are thrilled to see the newest weekend food program in our community officially launched: Pollard Middle School, which opened its doors on Monday, began serving the children who participated in the Fuel Up programs at North Chatham School and Perry Harrison School with the “Mustang Meals” weekend food program. The strategy we developed for the “Mustang Meals” program is very similar to the one we devised for Rashkis Elementary in Chapel Hill and later implemented for our own Summer Gap program. If you’re interested in “adopting” a bag or volunteering to help with the “Mustang Meals” program, please contact Patty Yunker at

December 8, 2010
  • The Holiday Box Project was a huge success: Every last one of the children’s boxes were “adopted” and filled with donated food or food purchased with donated funds. Many thanks to everyone who helped meet this challenge. During the course of this week, parents of each of the 48 children participating in Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School will be picking up enough food to last for the entire 16-day Winter Break. What a wonderful gift!
…Speaking of gifts, if you would like to honor someone with a contribution to Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School in their name, there is still plenty of time! Remember that we have both Hanukkah and Christmas versions of the gift cards for you to give your honoree.

December 3, 2010
  • Last night, we had the great pleasure of participating in the 4th annual Chapel Hill Giving Party (See details here) -- What a fun way to begin the Holiday Season! Attendees not only made monetary contributions to our organization, but several also offered to help us shop to provide food for our participants' upcoming 16-day Winter Break. The generosity of our community is truly overwhelming.
November 21, 2010
  • Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School was awarded a very generous grant by the Carolina Meadows Community Grants Program for December 2010 through December 2011. We are thrilled that they have elected to continue supporting our efforts to reduce the number of hungry children in our community.
November 15, 2010
  • Thanks to the generous support of our school community, Fuel Up at PHS has been serving 47 children each weekend! Now that November is well underway, we're busy making plans to provide food for these children for their 16-day Winter Break. There are several ways you could help us:
  1. "Adopt a Box" (or three) for the Holidays:
    • We'll provide you with a shopping list of shelf-stable foods; then you bring the requested items to school on Monday December 13th, where they'll be placed in a box for the intended student. (Fresh fruit and other supplemental items will be added to the boxes before they're picked up by or delivered to families.)
    • The cost to "adopt" a box will be about $60 (less, if you use coupons and look for sales)
    • Please consider "adopting" more than one box in order to serve families with multiple children participating in Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School.
    • Tax receipts for in-kind donation can be provided.
  2. Make a donation in honor of a family member, friend, or other hard-to-shop-for person on your Holiday List:
    • We'll provide you with an attractive card stating that "A gift has been given in your honor to Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School.                                       thought that you would appreciate helping provide food for a child in need rather than receiving something for yourself. (You must be very special!)" There is one version with a very cool peace dove design that then says "Happy Hanukkah" and another stylish version with ornaments that says "Merry Christmas!" Both versions also include a brief explanation of Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School, so the recipient will know just how special their gift really is!
    • We'd be happy to mail the gift card for you, or can give you the card so you can present it yourself.
    • Checks should be made out to "Fuel Up at PHS," and can be dropped off in the school office
    • Tax receipts will be provided for all monetary donations.
  3. Donate canned goods from our "Holiday Wish List"
    • Donations can be dropped off in the Fuel Up collection box in the front hall of Perry Harrison School; or a volunteer would be willing to come pick them up from your home or office
    • If you attach a store receipt along with your address, a tax receipt for in-kind donation can be provided.
                                 "Holiday Wish List":
    • Canned fruit or fruit cups: peaches, pears, pineapple chunks, mandarin oranges, applesauce
    • Canned vegetables: corn, peas, green beans, carrots, potatoes or mixed vegetables
    • Breakfast items: Bags of mini muffins, oatmeal, grits, Nutri-Grain bars, Pop Tarts, individual boxes or bowls of cereal
    • Pasta items: Individual servings of macaroni & cheese (Easy Mac cups or microwave packets preferred), plastic jars of spaghetti sauce
    • Meat-based items: Chef Boyardee items such as Overstuffed Ravioli, Beef-a-roni, Lasagna, and spaghetti with meatballs; Fresh Mixers, Hormel Compleats, cans or pouches of tuna, cans or pouches of chicken breast
    • Beverages: 100% juice boxes or pouches, shelf-stable chocolate milk boxes, Horizon Farm shelf-stable vanilla milk boxes
September 23, 2010
  • This evening, we had the 3rd Quarter meeting of our Board of Directors. In addition to the Board members and officers of Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School, there were committee members and prospective volunteers in attendance. We discussed our Summer Gap program, our current status, and future plans, including helping launch a Fuel Up program at Margaret Pollard Middle School. Please consider joining us for our next Board meeting on Monday December 6th from 7:00-8:00pm.
September 15, 2010
  • Five additional children need to be served by Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School, so we packed bags for 45 children this morning. We talked about whether the increased demand for the program is indicative of an increased awareness of Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School (i.e., "The Word" about Fuel Up at PHS has had time to really spread through the school community), or whether the number of eligible children has grown because of our troubled economy. Either way, we are so thankful for the support of our community, which allows us to meet this demand!
September 9, 2010
  • A really nice article was written about Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School in the September issue of "The Chatham County line." Read it on page 3 here.
September 8, 2010
  • Today we packed bags of food for 40 students to enjoy at home this weekend. Despite having a larger number of bags than last year, the packing process went smoothly, and homeroom teachers have their discreet distribution plans in place for tomorrow!
August 11, 2010
  • Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School’s first Summer Gap program was a great success! Twenty-five children who otherwise would not have had adequate nutrition this summer received grocery bags full of food each week.
At the beginning of the summer program, people agreed to “adopt” one or more bags for the summer. A “Master Shopping List” of shelf-stable foods was sent to each of the “adoptive families” so that they would be able to shop all at once if they preferred; then a weekly list was sent each Friday during the summer program. “Adoptive families” dropped bags full of the prescribed food off at the Perry Harrison School office each Wednesday morning. Volunteers then added foods that were purchased with grant money along with produce donated by local farmers to each bag, and set up coolers full of fresh foods like milk, eggs, cheese and deli meat. Participants were able to pick their bags up in the school office each Wednesday afternoon. If they lacked transportation or had work schedules that did not allow them to pick up bags during school office hours, volunteers delivered the bags to them.
Parents of the children who participated in the program were very appreciative of the food they received, as well as the “bonus items” like activity books, games, outdoor toys and school supplies that “adoptive families” included for their children.  It was obvious that a great deal of love and care went into the bags each week along with the food.
100% of the “Adoptive families” said they were glad that they had participated in the Fuel Up Summer Gap Program (whew!). Many even asked to be signed up to do it again next year! Volunteers were pleased to be able to help reduce the number of hungry children in our community in such a direct and meaningful way, and Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School is extremely grateful to the volunteers who faithfully served these children each week:
  • The Aguiar Family
  • The Bell Family
  • The Benjamin/Danner Family
  • The Fannin Family
  • The Grealey Family
  • The Hamlet Family
  • The Lee-Brown Family
  • The Merchant Family
  • The Millard Family
  • The Ritter Family
  • The Rubinas Family
  • The Shimpi Family
  • The Sullivan Family
  • The Szczypinski Family
  • The Terrell Family
  • The VanDuinen Family
  • The Williams Family
  • And families who wish to remain anonymous
July 6, 2010
  • We received a generous donation from the women of Bynum Methodist Church, to be used to help provide additional fresh food for the Fuel Up Summer Gap program, which is so appreciated! We also received a large box of shelf-stable food, collected by Mt. Gilead Baptist Church. We are really excited about the quantity and quality of the food we’re able to provide this summer, thanks to the generosity of our very special community.
June 19, 2010
Uh-oh, Spaghettios!
  • There is a recall on Spaghettios products, including Spaghettios shapes with meatballs, which may have been undercooked. The items affected have “EST 4K” in the code stamped on their bottom, so please check your pantry if you buy Spaghettios products. None of the Spaghettios on the Fuel Up shelf were affected by this recall, so we’re optimistic that the cans still in the CanStruction are also unaffected.
June 16, 2010
  • The Fuel Up Summer Gap program launched at Perry Harrison School today! 25 students are participating in the summer program, and all bags have been “adopted.” Many thanks to the 19 families who have agreed to pack and deliver bags to the school each week this summer, to the Chapel of the Cross ABC Community Grant Program for their grant which will provide fresh food each week, and to the Farmers Market FoodShare program which will provide some of the fresh fruit each week this summer.
June 10, 2010
  • Yesterday, we sent home the last Fuel Up bags of the regular school year. While today (the last day of school) is the favorite of many students, it marks the beginning of a more uncertain time for others. During Summer Break, when school meal assistance programs aren’t available, many children are undernourished. Realizing that Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School was perhaps even more important in the summer time, we planned to offer a Summer Gap program for the 10-week Summer Break.
  • Volunteers have “adopted” the bags of students interested in participating in the summer program, and will bring a brown paper grocery bag filled with prescribed staple food items to the school office each week.
  • A grant specifically obtained for the purpose of supplementing a summer food program will be used to purchase fresh fruit and other fresh foods such as milk, eggs, cheese, deli meat, etc. (Thank you, Chapel of the Cross ABC Community Grant Program!!!)
  • Summer program participants will pick up their bags of food each week in the Perry Harrison School office (or a volunteer will deliver to them).
June 3, 2010
  • Wow, we had an amazing turnout for the CanStruction building session this afternoon! Over 60 (yes, sixty!) 2nd Graders stayed after school to help build. We divided the children into four groups, and provided four “stations” for them: one group sorted cans into groups according to size and label color, one group was responsible for shuttling cans to the group of students doing the actual building (and received a talk about nutrition from Debbie McKenzie, Director of Childhood Nutrition for Chatham County), one group was doing the actual building, and one group was working on a Fuel Up word search and a Fuel Up crossword puzzle. Each group rotated around to each of the different stations, and hopefully the kids had as much fun as they seemed to be having!

The CanStruction built by Second Grade students turned out to be a Food Pyramid. Take a look…

May 31, 2010
  • A big "thank you!" to everyone who participated in the Fuel Up food drive and CanStruction contest last week. It was a huge success for Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School, and we are so appreciative of the wonderful support we received from the PHS community.
Congratulations to the 2nd Graders, who have won the privilege of building a CanStruction sculpture in the school lobby!
  • In total, we collected 685 items. The 2nd Grade contributed 181 of those cans.
  • Most of the items donated were indeed cans of food (A few boxed snacks and food in pouches are included in the 685-item total).
  • About 125 cans of the 686 collected will be shared with a local food pantry (They were items that cannot be used in the Fuel Up program). That leaves 560 cans for the winning grade to build their CanStruction sculpture with!
May 24, 2010
  • This week, we are collecting canned goods as part of our 2nd Annual CanStruction Contest. The grade that collects the most cans of food will win the privilege of building a CanStruction in our school lobby. The sculpture of cans will remain on display through the end of the school year.
This contest is not only a great way to build up the supply of food for use in the Fuel Up program, it is a good vehicle for discussing the topic of food insecurity in our community with children. The teachers can also create age-appropriate math lessons for their students based on the number of cans collected, number of cans needed to provide a weekend’s worth of food for all of the participating students, etc. We look forward to the daily updates and to seeing which grade will win!

May 13, 2010
  • Today we added a pair of siblings to the program, bringing the number of children served by Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School to 35.  We also held the 2nd Quarter Meeting of our Board of Directors, which was well-attended by Board Members, Perry Harrison School faculty and staff members, as well as Fuel Up volunteers.
April 21, 2010
  • The Fearrington Farmer’s Market FoodShare Program has provided us with enough sweet potatoes to send home with each of the children in our program. We’ve scrubbed them, wrapped a belly band with microwave cooking directions around them, and included them in this weekend’s bags. What a delicious and healthy addition to the weekend’s food! Thank you, Fearrington Farmer’s Market!
April 18, 2010
  • Yesterday morning after we packed the Fuel Up bags at PHS, volunteers from Perry Harrison School had the privilege of helping pack the first bags for Rashkis Elementary School's new weekend food program. The official launch of their program (also serving 33 children) was really exciting! We are thrilled for the Rashkis community, and are so pleased to have been able to share the strategy for a Fuel Up program with yet another school!
April 16, 2010
  • Two new students were added to the program today, bringing the total number of children being served by Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School to 33.
March 29, 2010
  • Today, a team of eight volunteers (and a few little helpers) gathered to pack large bags of food for the 9-day Spring Break which begins on Friday. Bags will be available for parents of participating students to pick up beginning tomorrow, to make sure that they’re all picked up or delivered before the break begins. Each of the 31 students currently participating in the program is receiving two very large bags, filled with enough food to last for the 9-day break.
March 1, 2010
  • In addition to putting on a wonderful performance for the school on Friday night, the Perry Harrison School Drama Club collected 386 items for the Fuel Up program in lieu of admission! (We send an average of 15 items home each weekend with each of the 32 students participating in Fuel Up at Perry Harrison -- That means that the food collected at the play is equivalent to a whole weekend's worth of food for almost 26 kids.
The Drama Club members should be very proud of their performance in the play, AND their contribution to Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School. Again, we are so grateful to the members of our community for this kind of generous support.

February 24, 2010

  • When we went into the "Fuel Up Closet" this morning to pack bags, we had the happy surprise of finding several boxes of Girl Scout cookies! Apparently, when Girl Scout Troop 1200 was selling cookies this weekend, they had several people ask if they could donate money instead of buying cookies (These are people who obviously have phenomenal self-discipline). The girls of Troop 1200 decided that they'd like to use the donated funds to purchase cookies for the Fuel Up students, which was a really thoughtful gesture. We were able to include them as this weekend's sweet snack, and we know that the kids will be really excited to find them in their bags this weekend! Thank you, Girl Scout Troop 1200!
February 22, 2010
  • On Friday night, the Middle School students at Perry Harrison School had a "King and Queen of Hearts" dance. In lieu of admission, students were asked to bring an item to be donated to Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School. The Middle School students were extremely generous to our organization, with a total of 471 items collected, and we are so very appreciative. 
To put things in perspective, we have 32 students currently participating in Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School. Each weekend, we send home an average of 15 items with each of them, which means we need about 480 items each week to provide weekend meals and snacks for the kids participating in our program. The "Middle Schoolers" essentially provided enough food for ONE WHOLE WEEKEND for EVERY STUDENT PARTICIPATING IN FUEL UP AT PERRY HARRISON SCHOOL -- Wow!

We are truly delighted with all of the healthy, appealing foods the kids decided to share, and especially with the huge show of support for Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School.

February 17, 2010
  • The first meeting of the Board of Directors for Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School was held tonight. We are so pleased to have such a talented and committed group of professionals serving us on our Board:
  • Dan Barnwell - Assistant Principal of Perry Harrison School
  • Jennifer Buckmire - Officer, Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School
  • Nancy Fahrbach - Guidance Counselor and Officer, Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School
  • Terri Fannin - 5th Grade Teacher and Officer, Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School
  • Sarah Blake Finigan - Director, Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School
  • Mary Beth Grealey - Officer, Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School
  • Kimberly Harris - Treasurer of Perry Harrison School
  • Dr. Kim Kylstra - Pediatric and Family Practitioner with Chatham Crossing Medical Center
  • Debbie McKenzie - Director of Child Nutrition for Chatham County
  • Sally Maslansky - Marriage and Family Therapist

February 10, 2010
  • Results are in! In an effort to gauge the effectiveness of Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School, we conducted separate surveys of the parents of children participating in the program and the teachers of children participating in the program. Here’s what we heard:
    • Teachers all reported that it was easy for them to participate in the Fuel Up program, and that it was not difficult to maintain privacy for the students with regard to participation in the program. A few did report, however, that students were “so proud of having the food” or “so excited about getting the bag each week” that they “told everyone” and had no problem with their classmates knowing that they were participating in the Fuel Up program.
When asked if they had seen any positive changes since their student(s) began participating in the program, the teachers responded with a variety of benefits, including wellness, academic improvement, and improved self-esteem. One teacher remarked, “So many variables come into play, but certainly the program adds to their academic progress and general health.”

When asked how Fuel Up at Perry Harrison could be improved, the general consensus was that it seems to be working well. Most comments were along the lines of this one: “Just keep it going!”

One teacher recommended that we periodically check in with families to see if their status has changed: That is, to routinely verify with the participating families that they still need to participate; and to remind other parents that the program is available, in case someone’s financial situation has suddenly changed. Another teacher said, “I think it is such a wonderful program. I can’t express how much I appreciate the hard work and love that is put into making it work.”
    • Parents of the Students participating in the program also reviewed our program.  They ALL indicated that they had seen a positive change in their child(ren)’s health since they began participating in Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School. Some also indicated that their children were “doing better in school” and that they had seen improvements in their child(ren)’s self-esteem.
When asked if their child(ren) liked the food provided, the results were evenly divided between “He/she loves it!” and “He/she likes most of it.” (Happily, no one circled “Not really.”)
ALL parents indicated that participation in the Fuel Up program helps their family financially, and most indicated that the amount of food sent home each weekend was enough for the child, with a little extra to share with other family members.

When asked what their children like best about participating in Fuel Up, one family indicated that “La comida es facil de preparar y a los ninos les gustan (The food is easy to prepare, and the children enjoy the food).” One parent said, “Everything! Thanks so much for your help.” The best thing for another child was “knowing that there are people willing to help out.”

February 4, 2010
  • Last weekend, we added a 33rd student. It turned out to be excellent timing, since we had two snow days right after the weekend! When the new participant's bag was returned this week, there was a note inside from the parent: "Thank you so very much for the food. It was a real blessing to get it." Everyone who was there to pack bags this morning had the pleasure of reading those words and knowing that their efforts can truly make a difference in people's lives.
January 13, 2010
  • We added a student to the program today, just in time for the five-day weekend. As always, we are so appreciative of the fact that we are in the position to accommodate new participants because of the generous support of this community. We are now serving 32 children each weekend.
January 4, 2010
  • Today Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School filed its Articles of Incorporation with the State of North Carolina to become a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, and will be filing with the Federal IRS as soon as the Letter of Determination arrives from the State of NC. The process should take approximately 60 days.
Now that the Articles of Incorporation have been filed, we must act independently of Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church, which has until now served as our fiscal agent. Through our partnership with them, we've been able to establish a pattern of fiscal responsibility for our organization, we've been able to receive both private donations and grants that we would not have otherwise been eligible for, and most importantly, we've been able to serve far more hungry children than we ever would have been able to reach without their support. We are so appreciative of the relationship we've enjoyed with Chapel in the Pines for the last year and a half!

Moving forward, all monetary donations will be made to "Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School," and can either be dropped off at the school office or mailed to PO Box 5085, Chapel Hill, NC  27517-5001. If our 501(c)(3) status is approved, donations will be retroactively tax-deductible to the date of the application (1/4/2010). Please contact us with any questions.

December 14, 2009
  • Today a group of volunteers gathered to pack 31 large boxes of food, each with enough to sustain a child for the 16-day Holiday Break. The food was then delivered to the school Guidance Counselor's office, where it was paired with donations from the Salvation Army or local churches, all to help ensure a happy holiday for the participating children and their families. Our "packing session" was a lot of fun, and we all felt a great deal of gratitude for the generous donations that made it possible to purchase such plentiful, nutritious and appealing food, for each other's friendship, and for the ability to do something meaningful to to help children in our community. Thanks to all who helped make the Holiday Boxes possible!
December 4
  • Last night we had the privilege of sharing the mission of the Fuel Up program with so many incredible women (and a few very brave men) at the Chapel Hill Giving Party. The contributions made or pledged to Fuel Up will allow us to serve SIX additional children in the program next year, which is just amazing in this tough economic climate! Moreover, because of interest in the program which was generated at the Chapel Hill Giving Party, we will have the opportunity to help launch a Fuel Up program at a Chapel Hill school in 2010. Congratulations to the hostesses of the Chapel Hill Giving Party for all of the good that will result from this wonderful event, and thanks to all who participated in it!
November 30
  • Another student was added to the program today, bringing the number of children we serve each weekend to 31. We were able to add this student without hesitation, knowing that we have the support of the 2010 Carolina Meadows' Community Grant, and that we will be participating in the Chapel Hill Giving Party later this week!
November 24, 2009

  • After school today, two of the Girl Scouts from Troop 365 working towards their Silver Award gathered and inventoried the food collected during their November food drive. They included some 2nd graders from a younger Girl Scout troop in this "event," and demonstrated a great deal of maturity, responsibility and sensitivity in the process. Their food drive brought in 602 items, which will go a long way in terms of helping us provide weekend food for students participating in Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School. Congratulations to these young ladies, and thanks to everyone who participated in the food drive!
November 23, 2009
  • Thirty bags were packed today with enough food to last for the 5-day Thanksgiving break. The fact that some of the parents called the school to confirm that Fuel Up bags would be coming home on Tuesday is a good indication of the need that exists.
November 20th, 2009
  • Fuel Up at Perry Harrison Program Coordinator Sarah Blake Finigan was interviewed by Chatham County Public Information Officer Beth McCullough for the "School Notebooks" segment on WNCA, AM 1570. Please listen to the podcast here.
November 15th, 2009
  • We just received wonderful news from the Board of Directors at Carolina Meadows: The Carolina Meadows Community Grants Program will once again award funds to Fuel Up at Perry Harrison! Their generous support has been invaluable as we have built and sustained our weekend food program -- We are so very grateful for it!
October 28, 2009:
  • Girl Scout Troop 365 has several 6th, 7th and 8th Graders who are working to achieve their Silver Award in Scouting. The service project they have chosen will include a food and school supplies drive at Perry Harrison School (They are doing a separate drive at North Chatham School as well). These young ladies will be placing collection boxes in each of the classrooms at PHS next week, and will be encouraging students to bring donations for Fuel Up between November 5th and November 24th. We are really excited that Troop 365 has chosen to do this food drive for Fuel Up. It will certainly help us provide enough food for the fast-approaching 16-day Winter Break!
October 19, 2009:
  • We conducted a Food Preference Survey of the students participating in the Fuel Up program, and we have some winners!
    The Top Ten items are:
    •    Chef Boyardee ravioli
    •    chicken noodle soup
    •    canned corn
    •    canned green beans
    •    apple sauce
    •    canned peaches, pineapple or mixed fruit
    •    Pop Tarts or breakfast bars
    •    individual bowls of cereal
    •    microwave popcorn
    •    pretzels and other baked snack chips
    Please consider dropping some of these items off in the Fuel Up collection box in the school's front hall, or sending one of these items to school with your child. Thanks for your continued support of Fuel Up!
October 14, 2009:
  • Two new students were added to the program today, just in time to receive food for the upcoming long weekend! While we were sorry that the need was there, we were really pleased to be able to meet it. To all of our generous contributors, thank you so much!
October 7, 2009:
  • Local dentists have been very generous! Dr. Avni Rampersaud provided children's toothbrushes and toothpaste for each of the students participating in the Fuel Up program. Dr. Annelise Hardin of Village Pediatric Dentistry also provided us with enough children's toothbrushes and toothpaste for all of the children, so that as we enter "Cold and Flu Season," we'll be able to provide the students with a fresh toothbrush to swap out after an illness. Thank you, Drs. Rampersaud and Hardin!
September 16, 2009:
  • Twenty-eight bags were packed and distributed to teachers today. They will go home with students for the first time this year on Thursday, September 17th.
August 2009:
  • Through an exciting new partnership with the Carrboro Farmers Market FoodShare Program, Fuel Up at Perry Harrison will be able to provide excellent-quality produce not sold at Saturday markets to the students participating in the Fuel Up program. We will be able to receive produce that has a long shelf life, and that requires minimal preparation (such as apples, potatoes, and sweet potatoes) from the FoodShare program, and are thrilled at the prospect of being able to provide even more fresh items each week!
July 2009
  • Fuel up at PHS received a generous grant from the Chapel of The Cross' ABC Subcommittee, which will allow us to serve two additional students in the 2009-2010 school year. We are very appreciative of the support that Chapel of the Cross has continued to provide for the Fuel up program.
June 2009
  • Local Girl Scout Troop 977 provided Summer Fun packs for children participating in the Fuel Up program. These "goody bags" contained thoughtful items such as snacks, toothbrushes, age- and gender-appropriate toys or activities, and vegetable or flower seeds. We are very appreciative of their contribution, and are impressed with the care that went into preparing these Summer Fun packs.
  • "Take and Read," a local program that provides books for children who might not otherwise own books, gifted each of the students participating in the Fuel Up at PHS program with a book selected by their homeroom teacher. The "Take and Read" committee even wrapped each of the books to make them extra-special for the children!
April 2009
  • Thanks to a generous donation from the Osman Foundation, two additional students will be added to the Fuel Up Program for the 2009-2010 school year. Considering that none of the children currently participating in the program will be graduating from PHS, and more children will be joining the school next year, this is especially welcome
March-April 2009
  • Perry Harrison School participated in the Feinstein Foundation $1 Million Challenge to Fight Local Hunger. During this time, 1356 food items and $ were collected to benefit Fuel Up at Perry Harrison School. Additionally, the Feinstein Foundation has promised to partially match the donations made to Fuel Up during this drive.
  • One of the most fun events associated with the March-April Challenge was the CanStruction Contest. The grades competed to see who could collect the most food items for Fuel Up; and in a close competition, the 5th Graders won! Click here to see the CanStruction that the 5th Graders designed and built with some of the canned goods collected.
December 2008
  • On December 15, twenty-seven boxes were packed with enough food to last the 16-day holiday break.
  • Thanks to the generosity of the Chapel Hill Giving Party attendees, four additional children have been added to the program.
November 2008
  • Fuel Up at PHS receives a grant from the Carolina Meadows' Community Grant Program. The grant period runs from December 15, 2008 to December 15, 2009.
  • An initial survey of parents, teachers and administrators was conducted. Along with current statistics, you can read comments here.
  • Thanks to the generosity of donors, the number of children increases to 23.
October 30, 2008
  • Thanks to the generosity of donors, the number of children served increases to 22.
October 2, 2008
  • Fuel Up at PHS launches! The first bags of food are sent home with twenty students.