The Coastal Packet: Food pantries in schools

Sunday, May 31

Food pantries in schools

Sun Journal - Edward Little High School, [has] a converted storage room houses [that] shelves of raisins, peanut butter, cereal, canned vegetables, tuna and crackers.

The school's own food pantry.

Hungry Auburn students regularly use the pantry — grabbing a snack during school, getting something for lunch, taking food to bring home. In the two-and-a-half years since it opened, the pantry has become a fixture in the school.

"I don't know how we functioned without it before," said Assistant Principal Jim Horn, who helps run the pantry.

Once limited to church basements, shelters and community centers, food pantries have become increasingly popular among schools. Since it started offering a school pantry program in 2013, the Good Shepherd Food-Bank in Auburn has helped nearly 60 get started.

There are drawbacks. Schools have to find a place to put a pantry. Someone there has to take on the added work of coordinating the program. And the food, even from the food bank, costs money.

But schools — and families — say it's well worth it

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