CHILD HUNGER IS A MAJOR ISSUE. Susan Founder of Children’s Healthy Pantry plans to address this issue, one school at a time. The purpose of The Children’s Healthy Pantry (CHP) is to ensure that children at risk have additional food during the school day. In the 2013–2014 school year, The Children’s Healthy Pantry delivered 72,000 snacks and 36,000 bottles of water. Each of the eight existing pantries received 1,000 snacks and 500 bottles of water delivered monthly. Our goal for 2014–2015 is to provide for these pantries and add at least two more.
What exactly does the Children’s Healthy Pantry do for the community? Many children go to school hungry and leave school knowing that their only meal will be at school. This is a devastating fact for kids who are at their most important developmental stages. Susan Morin initially took it upon herself to find space at Booker Elementary back in 2010 and filled the pantry herself with donations.
“The snacks are greatly appreciated! Many of my students are hungry throughout the day and the snacks are a good boost for them mentally and physically.” says John Weida, Principal of Brentwood Elementary School.
Some children take the snacks and bottled water they receive each day home. Many times this will serve as their dinner. Currently The Children’s Healthy Pantry provides snacks and bottled water to 8 Title I Schools in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Child hunger is a major issue. The purpose of The Children’s Healthy Pantry (CHP) is to ensure that children at risk have additional food during the school day. If children are not eating enough food in general, their bodies will not grow properly. The Sarasota-Manatee area is an affluent community, so it is shocking to hear that so many children are suffering from hunger.
“We rely on a total volunteer base, our board is comprised of all volunteers,” said Susan Morin. The children are so grateful, they look forward to having this available at school when often their home pantries are empty.
Their annual Taste of Jazz Fundraiser was a big success, offering tasty jazz from the community as well as terrific cuisine from Michael’s On East. “We hope to serve more schools each year, as this is such a hands on important service for children who truly need to eat”, according to Susan Morin. For more information, please log on to www.childrenshealthypantry.com. – Susan Short