School food pantries reaching more families

New Port Richey Food Pantry
Posted at 5:11 PM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-16 17:18:48-04

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — Monday morning before school starts at Richey Elementary, a truck full of food arrives.

“We are so excited to be receiving our first delivery today. And we are ready to get the ball rolling," said Richey Elementary social worker Katie Landseadel.

Landseadel is one of several people working to organize the Feeding Minds Pantry here. Feeding Tampa Bay has similar setups at nearly 50 different schools. It’s set up to provide food not only for student’s families but staff members too.

“We understand that food insecurity is a big deal and we want to ensure that all of our families no matter what the circumstances have access to fresh and good food," said Landeadel.

Every week families will get a box full of food, including fruit, produce, and even meat, and, everyone is eligible.

“For us, we want to evolve how we are reaching families and help meet them where they are at. That’s part of why the school pantries are so important to us because kids and their families are already here so they are not taking any extra time out of their day," said Clarissa Rain with Feeding Tampa Bay.

When COVID restrictions are lifted, families will actually be able to shop here for whatever they need.

“Working in the school really changes the whole day. Having a good breakfast, a dinner when you get home really sets the mood. So being able to provide meals for them and help them with that really helps," said volunteer Jasmine Crayton.

Feeding Tampa Bay says they'll restock this pantry and often as needed. They plan on adding even more school pantries in the months ahead.

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