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How these teens helped stock The Place of Forsyth’s pantry
Team Relieve
From left to right, Damian Galvan, Varoon Kodithala, Chinmay Dave and Pranav Golakoti load boxes full of food donations into their car to bring to The Place of Forsyth food pantry. Photo courtesy of Golakoti.

A pair of Alliance Academy for Innovation students organized a food drive last month, collecting more than 300 items for The Place of Forsyth’s pantry.

Pranav Golakoti and Chinmay Dave, both rising seniors, held the drive through a club they founded at school called Team Relieve, which they hope to turn into an official nonprofit following graduation.

After collecting donations for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in February as part of their first service project, Golakoti said they reached out to The Place to ask about their needs and begin planning for the food drive.

Based on their needs, the students asked for community donations of pasta, rice, beans, oatmeal, cereals, granola bars and other grains. They named the drive Grains for Good and held two collection days at Alliance Academy on June 7, and June 9.

“We focused on grain goods so it’s easier for them to get the essentials in their pantry,” Golakoti said.

Overall, they ended up collecting 303 food items with the help of other students in the community.

They had partnered with the Raúl Garza Foundation, a mentorship club founded by Polititeen podcast co-hosts Varoon Kodithala and Damian Galvan, who are also rising seniors at Alliance. Club members volunteered to help market the drive and come out to supervise both collection days.

The students were able to take five cardboard boxes filled with food to The Place on June 14, and they plan to use the items in grocery parcels given out each week to those in need.

Going forward, Team Relieve wants to continue to partner with the Raúl Garza Foundation and provide help and resources to other organizations in the community.