BARRIE, ON – Today, Craig Russell & Angela Pidutti, owners of PIE Wood Fired Pizza Joint in Barrie, Alex Nuttall & Adam Moulton (owner of Allandale Home Hardware) are pleased to announce another successful year for the PIE Education program.
For the past 10 years, the program has provided over 15,000 filled backpacks to children in our community. For the tenth year of the program, Providing Instruments for Excellence (PIE) in Education is proud to be providing a 1,520 backpacks with school supplies to those in need into Simcoe County. PIE Education is a community-oriented program aimed to support kids in government-subsidized housing, by supplying students with the necessary materials for educational success such as backpacks, pencil cases, paper, notebooks, rulers, crayons, and pens.
Covid-19 has changed our children’s education immensely & PIE Education is proud to have continued through the Pandemic. During last year’s interrupted school year, PIE Education donated 6 laptops to 2 schools in Barrie to help at-risk children continue their education through remote learning. This year the backpacks include masks and sanitizer to ensure a safe return during the on-going Covid pandemic.
Alex Nuttall and Craig Russell came up with the idea for this program in 2012. As a child, Alex grew up in government-subsidized housing, and received assistance from people in the community at a young age. Alex sees PIE Education as an opportunity to give back to the people and programs that helped him in his youth. Craig was eager to create practical solutions to fight poverty and give back to the community. Through their dedication and from fundraising activities such as the PIE Golf Tournament every July, the duo raises over $20,000 annually from generous sponsors and donors to purchase the supplies.
This year PIE Education was honoured to have the support, commitment and partnership of Adam Moulton and the Allandale Home Hardware team. Adam and his team are a huge asset to the PIE Education Program, and all hope this is the 1st of many years working together to help at-risk children and youth.
“We are excited to see new and returning community organizations participating in the program this year”, said Nuttall. “I can tell you from experience how important it is to have good school utensils for a child’s confidence, and this program has made that happen for another 1,500 children this year.”
“We believe every child should have the confidence and tools to succeed in school, and without the help of our sponsors and donors, we wouldn’t be able to provide this support year after year!” added Craig Russell. “We continue to hear from so many new organizations each year looking to join the program, which highlights the growing need in our community and encourages us to expand PIE Education.”
“Our Home Hardware team is thankful to the support from the community,” said Adam Moulton. “When asked to join PIE Education, our team didn’t this twice, and seeing the amazing families that receive the program and the buy-in from the community in support, this is such a fantastic initiative. We wish all the children a strong and safe year as they return to school.”
The bags are given to various community organizations who distribute the backpacks to the children and youth they support. Some of these community partners include the Barrie Municipal Non-Profit Housing Corporation, Simcoe County Housing Corporation, Simcoe Community Services, Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions, Canadian Mental Health Association, Barrie Native Friendship Centre, Women and Children’s Shelter of Barrie, Algonquin Woodlands Aboriginal Peoples Tribal Council, Wahta Mohawk Community and local church groups.
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