The Edmond Sun

Local News

December 20, 2012

Memorial begins food pantry on site

EDMOND — Memorial High School is joining other schools in the Edmond district by providing a food pantry for students who may not have food resources over the holidays for a daily meal.

Memorial’s Food Pantry is being stocked at this time by student and parent donations.

Debbie Bendick, Memorial’s principal, said it is the hope of the teachers in charge to send food sacks home with students who are identified to have a need, not just students who are on the free and reduced lunch programs.

“The program we are starting at Memorial is similar to the backpack program the elementary schools are using, and we look forward to participating with the Regional Food Bank and the program they have in place for the middle school and high school students,” Bendick said.

“The ink is still wet on the recently signed agreement between the Regional Food Bank and Edmond Memorial High School that marks the school’s participation in the School Pantry Program,” Bendick said. “Edmond Memorial and the School Pantry are beginning immediately to forge a partnership to provide nonperishable food items available for the school’s students.”

In celebration of the pantry’s opening, the student body has been invited to contribute food items for those who might need assistance over the winter holiday. The community also is invited to contribute donations of nonperishable food. Items may be dropped off at the Welcome Center at any time.

“The school is grateful for the encouragement of two particular patrons who persevered in their efforts to introduce the school to the charity of a school pantry — Sheryl Janis and Shannon Fouts,” Bendick said.

These parents, along with counselors Carol Doherty and Dawnetta Russell and Principal Bendick attended the Regional Food Bank’s training along with school personnel from across the metro.

North and Santa Fe high schools also have a food pantry that was started last year by parent groups.

North supplies food to 33 students on a weekly basis, said Susan Parks-Schlepp, director of public information/community involvement. ‘It also provides clothing and school supplies when necessary.”

A Santa Fe parent group is currently assisting about 10-15 students, Parks-Schlepp said. “They are also providing to the students $30 gift cards to Crest so that the student and their families can purchase items for a holiday dinner.”

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