The Merrillville Community School Corporation has taken a step to make sure its families have the food they need. (link to our new web page)
The corporation opened its new food pantry, named the Pirate Pantry, to families with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 1.
"Through feedback from the school corporation's social workers and family and community engagement specialists, we determined that food insecurity was a bigger issue than we originally believed," said Superintendent Nick Brown.
Mr. Brown also said the high numbers of students receiving breakfasts and lunches during and after the pandemic also identified the need for food support.
The goal of the Pirate Pantry is to provide temporary food support to families in the Merrillville Community School Corporation, in addition to direction if families need a more permanent solution.
School social workers and engagement specialists will identify the families in need and refer them to Angelica Claiborne, school corporation Food Service director, who will make arrangements for families to pick up meals.
The creation of the pantry was made possible through a $15,000 grant from No Kid Hungry, written and received by Mrs. Claiborne. Money from the grant will be used for food purchases as well as storage units.
“The pantry will stock shelf-stable food, and ongoing efforts to keep the Pirate Pantry stocked will include food drives by Merrillville students,” said Mrs. Claiborne.
Merrillville High School students will also step up to work at the pantry, package up food, keep the pantry organized and secure, plan lists of needed food, and keep inventory, she added.