Students in Selkirk College’s adult special education program pose with a board of Post-it notes they are using to give out pizza to people in need in partnership with Thor’s Pizza. Photo: Tyler Harper

Selkirk students pay it forward with pizza

The adult special education program is buying slices for those in need

Selkirk College students want you to have a slice on them.

The adult special education program at the Silver King campus is purchasing 40 slices from Thor’s Pizza to be given out to those in need.

Alison Roy, who instructs the program along with Maria Vanderstar, said her students earn money by taking care of recycling at Nelson’s two campuses. That money is normally used to buy popcorn for Selkirk’s students, but with the end of the term approaching they wanted to expand the initiative into the community.

“My students are on a limited income so they understand the struggles that exist in having a tight budget and maybe experiencing times in the month when food is a bit more challenging to come by, especially the students who live independently,” said Roy.

“So I think they can really identify with their fellow students who struggle with a tight budget and food being expensive and having limited access to food.”

The idea was inspired by a pizzeria in Philadelphia that in 2014 began encouraging customers to buy $1 slices for the homeless community. The wall at Rosa’s Fresh Pizza is now covered in Post-it notes that hungry visitors can grab and use for a much-needed bite.

As it happens, Thor’s has already been running a similar pay-it-forward program.

Manager Michael Garbula said it began when a customer couldn’t afford a slice on Christmas Eve 2016. He told them to pay it forward. The next person in line overheard the conversation and immediately paid for someone else’s slice.

Garbula said he too was inspired by the Philly restaurant. Staff keep a board in the kitchen that tracks freebies, which are generally given to community members who can’t afford to feed themselves.

“We’re not just a place where it’s like, ‘hey man, I heard you guys have free food.’ It’s a place for people who need help, whether it’s on purpose or by accident.”

The donation by Roy’s students comes ahead of Pay It Forward Day on Saturday. Garbula said he likes to ask that people who receive a free slice do right by someone else in return.

“It doesn’t have to be money,” he said. “You can lend a hand or do a favour or whatever. It doesn’t always have to end up with money or trading, it can just be good will or giving someone your time.”

The adult special education program, which currently has 23 students at the Silver King campus, helps build skills for employment. Roy said her students liked the pizza idea because it allows them to offer something tangible to the community.

They considered other options but, according to student Tyler McKnight, there was only ever one choice.

“Everybody loves pizza!” he said.



tyler.harper@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

New Nelson councillors reassure voters: living outside city not a problem

Nelson’s new council has only two women and one incumbent

VIDEO: Nelson’s Mia Noblet sets new world record in highline

Noblet now owns the women’s and men’s record

Nelson Curling Club’s refrigeration plant in need of repairs

The club wants the RDCK to take over the plant’s operations

Salmo woman in need of third liver transplant

An event Saturday raised $1,500 for Shelby Gielen

RDCK approves loan request to remediate Salmo tailings site

The H.B. Mine tailings pond poses a risk of toxic contamination

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Red Sox beat Dodgers 8-4 in Game 1 of World Series

Benintendi has 4 hits as Boston cruises at Fenway

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

B.C. jury trial hears police-sting audio of man accused of killing girl, 12

Garry Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack on May 6, 1978.

Most Read