Administrators pitch in at pantry

Published Wednesday, December 27, 2017
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Helping Hands

HELPING HANDS – Members of Decatur ISD administration stocked the shelves of the Eagle Pantry before the winter break. Submitted photo

Before heading out for the winter break, Decatur ISD administrators took timeout from their busy schedules to flex their muscles in the Eagle Food Pantry.

Wearing blue Santa hats, administrators spent Dec. 15 stocking the Eagle Pantry at McCarroll Middle School and Decatur High School. The team put together 100 gift bags and picked groceries at WARM and Lowe’s Market.

“We wanted our administrators to be a part of the effort and see the work from the other side,” said Decatur ISD Superintendent Judi Whitis. “We ask and ask people to help. It was our chance to give back and provide a little bit of service to help.”

The Eagle Pantry has 50 students that shop the pantry each week. It opened in the spring of 2016.

The pantry provides students in need with food, school supplies and hygiene supplies. The items in the pantry are far-ranging. Among the breakfast items are cereal, oatmeal and breakfast bars. The canned goods include beans, canned meats, soups and vegetables. Peanut butter and fruit cups and snacks are also available.

“It’s been a great program,” said McCarroll Middle School counselor Cindy Barksdale. “It helps the kids. It’s hard to teach a kid if they are hungry. It also lets them know people care about them.”

McCarroll has a pantry at the seventh- and eighth-grade campus and the sixth-grade campus. Students usually visit the pantry once per week during the day and are allowed to shop for what they need.

“Some students get snack items because they have meals. Others get several meals [from the pantry], and it allows them to get fresh fruits and vegetables,” Barksdale said.

Counselors on the campuses are the primary point of contact for the pantry, according to Whitis.

“The counselors are involved. But there are a lot of volunteers – lots of elves we don’t know about,” Whitis said.

Barksdale said several teachers are donating time to volunteer at the pantry.

The items in the pantry are donated or purchased through Decatur Cares with monetary donations.

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