By Michelle Pinilla | Staff WriterIPC and Physics teacher Kathryn Parker recently proposed that Pearce start a food pantry for students and families that cannot put food on their table. After getting approval from principal Philip Bates, the food pantry was launched.
“I just moved to Dallas from Huntington, W.V., where I was teaching in the inner city at a low socioeconomic high school there,” Ms. Parker said. “We started a food pantry for the underprivileged kids who would come to school hungry and be hungry on the weekends and it was a great success.”
Her collaborator, school counselor Lea Drewery, believes it will be around for a long time.
“Several students in Pearce could make use of it,” Ms. Drewery said. “We want to continue this project for many years to come. ”
Each month, different departments of the school, including clubs or organizations and sports teams, will have the duty of bringing in items for the pantry.
Every Friday after school, students who sign up will be able to take home healthy food such as cereal, mac and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, fruit cups and more for themselves and their families. Toiletries and clothing are also available.
With the support of parents and the PTA, booster clubs and student organizations in setting up donations, the pantry has been filling up with supplies.
On the first day of the food pantry, a food drive was arranged and donations were made by the choir.
“When we were made aware of the need for the food pantry, we thought it would be a good idea to put our energy toward getting it going,” choir director Michael Lysinger said.
Even in the U.S., families still struggle with hunger due to poverty. The efforts put forth by projects like these can help many in need.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Economic Research Service, 14.5 percent of U.S. households struggle to put enough food on the table, and more than 48 million Americans, including 15.9 million children, live in these households.
For children in school, programs such as free and reduced lunch are provided for those who cannot afford to pay for their lunch every day. Although many do not have enough food to eat at home, the service has allowed students to eat while at school.