Second Harvest Food Bank celebrated the grand opening of the School Pantry program at Paul Breaux Middle School in Lafayette. The program is an innovative way to bring food pantry resources into the school setting.
Each School Pantry site hosts after-school food distributions at times convenient for working parents. The distribution provides families with both non-perishable and nutritious perishable food items such as fresh fruit and vegetables.
The schools participating in these programs were identified by Second Harvest Food Bank as areas that have over 96 percent enrollment in the free and reduced federal meal program.
Financial support for the program was pledged by seven donors from the Lafayette areas as well as corporate partners such as Morgan Stanley and Raising Cane’s. The support from these donors are vital to providing School Pantry partners with resources such as pantry shelving and racking; freezer and cooler equipment to ensure food is stored properly; and a steady supply of nutritious food to stock pantries throughout the school year.
In Fall 2013, Second Harvest tested a pilot School Pantry program at South Street Elementary in Opelousas. The program has been extremely well-received and teachers have witnessed an increase in parent engagement and a positive behavioral change among children.
Click HERE to view a great video on this project from KATC-TV.