SCC Elementary prepares to house school food pantry

A Food Pantry of Iowa employee unloads a pallet of food for the SCC Elementary School Food Pantry. GRAPHIC-ADVOCATE PHOTO/ERIN SOMMERS

South Central Calhoun Elementary School will be the latest school in the state to switch from Backpack Buddies to a school food pantry.

Principal Nicole McChesney accepted the first food delivery from Food Bank of Iowa July 26. As she opened the first box, she found frozen croissants, the kind kids can microwave and eat before they head out to school.

The school pantry will be available to any family with students at the elementary school, McChesney said. It will replace the Backpack Buddies program, which served 16 students last year.

“What the Food Bank spends on Backpack Buddies for a weekend, the money can go much farther in a food pantry,” McChesney said.

She sees another advantage to a pantry over the backpack program, in which school staff added shelf-stable food items to children’s backpacks on Friday afternoon.

“It’s a little more respectful of families,” McChesney said. “They can choose what they like (from the pantry).”

Read more in the Aug. 8 edition.