Polk County Public Schools and the Public Education Partnership are working together to bring mobile food pantries stocked with free essentials to elementary schools throughout the Winter Haven area.
“The coronavirus crisis has ripped a giant hole in the American economy. Today, millions of parents are finding it hard to make ends meet, many for the first time,” said Steven Warner, PCPS community liaison director, who helped organize the mobile food pantry program.
“During this crisis, donated food and meals can be a valuable source of nutrition and comfort for kids, while alleviating stress for parents who have found themselves juggling new responsibilities or struggling to make ends meet.”
The mobile food pantry project is made possible through grant support from No Kid Hungry. Local organizations Growing Positivity, Freedom Tour/Church, and Mid-West Food Banks are also involved in bringing the mobile food pantries to Winter Haven elementary schools.
During the first mobile food pantry stop on Feb. 19 at Snively Elementary, families received 420 meals. Three hundred meals were distributed on Feb. 25 at Inwood Elementary, and another 515 were delivered at Lake Shipp Elementary on March 5.
“The staff and students of Snively Elementary want to thank all parties involved in the mobile food pantry. Parents were overwhelmed with not only the amount of food, but also with the quality of the items that were donated,” said Snively Principal Diane Rosebrough.
“We appreciate the generosity of the food during these difficult times we are facing, and we look forward to hosting another mobile food pantry again this school year. Thank you again for this blessing to the staff and students of Snively Elementary.”
The mobile food pantry will visit a Winter Haven elementary school each week through the remainder of the school year. In addition to Snively, Inwood and Lake Shipp, the other schools that will receive food donations are Garner and Wahneta elementary schools.