Healthy School Pantry -

Children

A Healthy School Pantry provides low-income students and their families with a monthly box of nutritious food that is easily accessible because they pick it up at school. For many students, school meals are their primary source of nutrition because they go home to empty shelves. The problem of food insecurity and hunger in Shelby County is severe.

More than one in five people do not have access to enough nutritious food to assure a healthy life. More than 23% of all Shelby County children are food insecure. School Pantries are proven to be effective sources of nutritious food.

The fact that the food is distributed in a discreet manner is important. The Healthy School Pantry program is Feeding America's fastest growing child nutrition program with a 41% annual average growth in the amount of food provided since the program began in 2009.


Project Description

  • The mission of the Healthy School Pantry Program is to help solve child hunger in our community by providing a monthly box of nutritious food to high school-age children and their families in convenient, familiar and safe locations. The School Pantry is often located in an unused closet or other designated facility. It can also include a Mid-South Food Bank Mobile Pantry distribution of fresh produce brought to the site by the Food Bank.
  • Healthy School Pantry sites are chosen based on the poverty level of the neighborhood where the school is located and the percentage of students receiving free or reduced school meals.  When choosing the place to locate the Pantry, we look for a place that can be dedicated to the Pantry so it will remain consistently in the same location. The Food Bank has set distribution criteria and works with the school to establish procedures and schedules to offer ongoing food assistance services.
  • The Healthy School Pantry provides nutritious food to children and families at-risk of hunger for them to prepare and consume at their place of residence. The Healthy School Pantry is a collaborative effort between the school and Mid-South Food Bank to assure that food is easily accessible and is distributed discreetly.
  • Each food box will also include printed nutrition education materials and recipe suggestions based on the food in the boxes.