Parramatta East PS holds blanket and food drive to help homeless

Donations: Brotherhood Christian Motorcycle Club member Greg Hirst (right) visits Parramatta East Public School to pick up blankets and food donated by the pupils for the homeless. He is with teacher Kathy Venetsinos and school principal Robert Ireoianni (centre). Picture: Isabella Lettini
Donations: Brotherhood Christian Motorcycle Club member Greg Hirst (right) visits Parramatta East Public School to pick up blankets and food donated by the pupils for the homeless. He is with teacher Kathy Venetsinos and school principal Robert Ireoianni (centre). Picture: Isabella Lettini

PARRAMATTA East Public School pupils and staff donated food and blankets to the Street Level Mission drive in Parramatta for Homeless Persons' Week.

This year the school collected about 60 blankets and more than 400 packets of non-perishable food items, principal Robert Ireoianni said.

"We support a number of charities," he said.

"This one is really important to us because it's close to home.

"This is a really important learning opportunity for our children and it is a way for them to understand that not everyone has their life."

Parramatta Street Youth Project chairman Greg Hirst said the school was involved last year and were the only school involved in the collection.

"We are hoping to involve more schools in the future," Mr Hirst said.

Mr Hirst said Homeless Persons' Week was about making sure the homeless population of Parramatta "weren't forgotten as the area becomes more built-up".

More than 500 people attended the launch in Parramatta on August 2 to support the cause.

On the day they had about 300 blankets and Mr Hirst said radio station Hope 103.2 would collect more than that.

"I just want to thank the general community for their generosity, it's particularly important because it's cold," Mr Hirst said.

"Next year we hope there will be a store so we can hand them out before the collection."

The Parramatta Street Youth Project is working with Parramatta Mission this week.

Mr Hirst said they have distributed blankets to other organisations like Auburn Salvation Army and High Street Youth Services.

"Our priority is the local area though," he said.

Mr Ireoianni said the schools student representative council had made this food and blanket drive a priority for the school.