Gardening is a key part of education at Copper View Elementary School in Sahuarita.

Each year, students grow a variety of vegetables and plants and relate the process to topics such as economics, business, science and responsibility.

Though they typically sell the produce as part of their learning experience, the impacts of COVID-19 left them with a large harvest of Texas Sweet Onions they couldn’t do that with.

Instead, the school donated 585 pounds of onions this month to the Sahuarita Food Bank, an organization that has faced a significant increase in need during the pandemic.

Second grade teacher Kelly Strayer manages the school garden and said they planted more than 1,000 onions in November. 

Since they could not hold their annual fundraising event where they sell the onions, the school's student council approved donating the onions to the food bank. 

"Copper View Elementary School has partnered with the Sahuarita Food Bank in the past and we were absolutely delighted to donate the onions to the SFB," she said. "The students learned the valuable lesson of helping others in their community."

Food bank Executive Director Carlos Valles said the donation was unexpected and they are appreciative. 

"We are extremely grateful for the school and students, everybody involved," he said. "It was able to provide for over 400 families."

Jamie Verwys | 520-547-9732 


Reporter Jamie Verwys grew up in Sahuarita and graduated from the high school in 2006. She lives in Tucson and graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2018.