Pantry a community effort
Published 11:44 am Thursday, March 7, 2019
Due to the efforts of community organizations and Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS), students and faculty at Prince Edward County High School will now have a food pantry.
Dr. Barbara Johnson, superintendent of PECPS, spoke about the impact that the pantry will have on students and faculty.
“Prince Edward County Public Schools are thrilled with this new partnership,” Johnson said. “We are humbled that the Farmville Lions Club, Centra Southside Community Hospital and the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce chose our high school as the site for this new food pantry. We are truly grateful for the many ways our community supports our students.”
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The pantry will be open during hours when the cafeteria is not operating, between 8-11:15 a.m. and 1:45-3:30 p.m. This pantry is available in addition to the existing breakfast and lunch program already available at school, according to a news release detailing the pantry. No paperwork is necessary to access the pantry.
“A student may have forgotten to eat breakfast and the cafeteria is closed, or a student athlete may need a snack before practice,” the release cited. “The pantry will be a no judgment zone, available to any student or staff who may need a little snack to get them through the day. There will also be a shelf of food available for a student to take home.”
Kerry Mossler, chair of the Lions Club Hunger committee, said the committee helped develop the project through a $500 donation.
“These local organizations have partnered together to make sure we are meeting our community’s students’ basic needs,” Mossler said. “Some students receive free or reduced-price meals at school, but may not eat again until they come back to school the next day. Also, things like deodorant and toothbrushes may not be a top priority in the budget, compared to food. We are hoping to fill a small gap in these students’ lives, giving them one less thing to worry about.”
Joy Stump, executive director with the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce, praised the efforts of the community to develop the pantry.
“The Farmville Area Chamber is thrilled to help partner with the Lion’s Club and Centra to help promote this wonderful program,” Stump said. “We strongly believe that no one can learn when they are hungry and we want our high school students to be the best they can be. We knew our generous community just needed to be asked to donate food and everyone would be pleased to help.”
High school carpentry and art students have been in the process of building shelves for the pantry and are estimated to finish the shelves Friday. Once that is completed, food pantry donations can be brought in.
The pantry is accepting donations from the community. Non-perishable food and hygiene donations can be dropped off at Prince Edward County High School Guidance office, the Southside YMCA, the Chamber office, or the Centra Southside Community Hospital lobby.
Farmville Lions Club members and hospital staff have also signed up to volunteer for the pantry.
Below is a list of the items needed for the pantry:
Individual cups of fruit, applesauce, veggies
Instant cereal, grits
Fruit juice boxes
Mac and cheese
Tuna or canned meat
Plastic forks, spoons
Parent volunteers are needed to help replenish the pantry each week.
To help or request additional information call (434) 315-2445.