Heartland school district opens on-site food pantry

Updated: Aug. 11, 2021 at 5:30 PM CDT
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CHARLESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - A Heartland school district is taking steps to beat food insecurity this up coming school year.

”This is what it is, children need to be well fed and that’s what we are focusing on,” said Susan White, co-organizer of Blue Jay Food Pantry.

It’s a new year of hungry minds and now full stomachs for the start of the school year in Charleston.

There’s a new food pantry in town and on school grounds.

“It’s having it right here and the ability to use it without delay is so vital,” said Adam Grindstaff, principal of Warren E. Hearnes Elementary.

“We wanna make sure that all the children of this school district have enough food to eat every day,” he said.

That’s the exact reason Blue Jay Food Pantry is opening its doors.

And Susan White said keeping these students fed helps build a great future.

“When the students are well fed with nutritious food from morning until night, they are going to be better students in school, they are going to study more, they are going to work harder, and they are going to achieve more goals,” she said.

White said she saw the need in Charleston and knew she could help.

“I saw a lot of people that needed the help. That came and asked for it and that’s what we are to do. l we are to be God’s people and to help,” she said.

And Grindstaff said this pantry will always be readily available.

“Having it right here and having the ability to communicate with the wonderful people who run this. It gives us the ability to really focus in and help those that are in need then and not without delay or wait until this time because they are on call we can get help anytime,” he said.

White said if you need anything from the pantry, take it.

“Times are hard. Times are tough for a lot of families, and you can both be working, and you still can’t make ends meet. I know that. Come we are glad to help you. There’s no judgement. No judgement at all. We just want to help people. Help the students, that’s who we are here for,” she said.

Feeding these students with knowledge for the future and food for the present.

The food pantry is open for parents and students on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., but White says they are available whenever they are needed.

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