Joanne Holmes’s daughter was an English teacher; besides grading papers, planning and prepping for the classroom, she noticed her daughter would also pack snacks. She finally asked her why she packed so many. Michele told her mom, she packed them for students to satisfy their hunger so they could concentrate better on learning. This encouraged Joanne to not only help her daughter but to also help the students at the school.

In September of 2015, Joann Holmes and Carol Scaramuzzi saw a need for a need pantry. They approached Mr. Racine, the principal at Sebastian River High School (SRHS). Carol and Joanne approached him with their idea to help families going through some rough times so students would not go hungry. He had just 3 “rules” that he felt needed to be met.

They were:

  •  The pantry had to be for SRHS Students.
  • Food had to be delivered and picked up by volunteers- not students.
  • No students were to be in the pantry during academic hours.

Joann and Carol agreed. Michele’s English class students came up with the name: “Chum Bucket” which aligns with the school’s mascot which is a shark. The Chum Bucket is the need pantry for SRHS students and their families located on the school’s campus.

The Chum Bucket helps approximately 60 families and their names are kept confidential. Volunteers pick up donations and bring them to the Chum Bucket. Boxes contain food, sundries, and fresh vegetables from the Shining Light Garden. On Tuesdays, ESE students help pack boxes and love being able to help other students as well as enrich volunteers and students in their own skills. The enthusiasm of volunteers and students is overwhelming.

The Chum Bucket is a non-profit organization that depends on donations from businesses and individuals. Volunteers are always needed to help deliver, pack boxes, process veggies, pick up donations or make deliveries. Please contact Joanne for volunteer opportunities or to make a donation. Her email is [email protected]. You can call the front desk telephone number at SRHS: 772-564-4201 and ask for the Chum Bucket or call their direct line at (772) 564-4255. The Chum Bucket goes beyond feeding the hungry; they nourish intellect and giving.


Heartbeat of the Treasure Coast