Filling the Nutrition Gap Through School Pantries

“I’m bringing food from my home and leave it on my desk. When a student is hungry they can help themselves. It’s so sad, everything I bring is gone by 10am!” ~ A local elementary teacher.

Learning takes more than pencils and books, it also takes good nutrition. When children get the food they need they perform better in school and have fewer behavior problems. Foods higher in carbohydrates and glucose actually cause a body’s energy levels to drop leading to loss of focus and diminished mental ability. Unfortunately, the most affordable and available foods traditionally fall into these categories.

Although there are food pantries available many times the challenges of transportation and time prohibit families from accessing them.

“I have more than one job, and kids to support. I am the only parent working too. My husband takes care of our kids. The (school) food pantry is extremely helpful for us.” ~A school pantry recipient.

The idea of bringing the pantry to the families rather than requiring the families to come to us was the answer to these challenges. SJFC now supports 10 off-site school pantries bringing thousands of pounds of food to neighborhoods through out Gilroy, Morgan Hill and San Martin.

A GUSD Community Liaison reports, “Many families said this allows them to not have to choose between other household necessities and food. This program has allowed the families to feel more connected with the schools and their community. “

 “I used to run out of food during the month. Now I never have empty shelves or refrigerator!”~A school pantry recipient.

 

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