Food pantry helps students in need

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Food pantry helps students in need

Jodi Fohs showcases just some of the food on offer for Skyline  students at the food pantry

Jodi Fohs showcases just some of the food on offer for Skyline students at the food pantry

Janis Orchard

Jodi Fohs showcases just some of the food on offer for Skyline students at the food pantry

Janis Orchard

Janis Orchard

Jodi Fohs showcases just some of the food on offer for Skyline students at the food pantry

Janis Orchard, Reporter

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Statistics say 1 in 6 children in Idaho go to bed food insecure. This means they do not know where their next meal is coming from. Many students here at Skyline take advantage of free breakfast and lunch, but many of them may not realize we have our very own food pantry to help students get through weekends and breaks when they don’t have access to food.

 The success of the Souper Bowl shows us that Skyline likes to take care of its own. This year we raised over 70,000 cans to stock the Community Food Basket and our own food pantry here at Skyline. There is no shame in needing to take advantage of the help students and patrons have provided. That is exactly the reason why we all do it.

 If a students needs help, Jodi Fohs, the counseling secretary, is the woman to talk to. She oversees the distribution of goods from the food pantry, and she is happy to help any student in need. Getting help is entirely confidential, and students are given groceries with no questions asked.

 Fohs mentioned that the pantry is not as busy as she would like. We asked her how many kids take advantage of this opportunity, and she said, “On a monthly basis, probably 3 to 4 students a month. As many students who need extra food and toiletry items.” Likely there are more at Skyline that could use the help, but perhaps they are unaware or too nervous to come in and ask.

 What does she hope for the future of the food pantry? “I would love for them to look at the different signs around campus and utilize the pantry. We also can use the pantry for anybody in our community who needs food and does not want to go to the Idaho Food Bank,” Fohs said. She also said the stock varies a bit from month to month, but there is always a variety of fresh produce, frozen foods and canned goods available.

  The food pantry seeks to distribute many of the following items for students and their families: fresh fruit, frozen chicken nuggets, frozen bread, rice, beans, noodles, tuna, canned chicken, spaghetti sauce, cliff bars, harvest snaps snacks, canned fruit and veggies, oats, lasagna meal, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, hash browns, toiletries like shampoo and deodorant, and more depending on the month.

 In addition to food, Fohs can also give out hats and gloves. Currently, she is mainly out of the warm winter outerwear, but she will work to make it available again next year.

 Other high schools in the area are starting to follow Skyine’s lead. Shelley High School recently acquired a gray locker they installed outside of their school, thanks to the efforts of local mother Karrie Winder, who was inspired after seeing a similar pantry set up at Borah High School. Their pantry is open and unlocked at all times, and it contains many items that just need water added, like cereal, snacks, soups, meal boxes and other toiletries as well. Winder reached out to many other moms for help stocking the cupboard, and the idea just snowballed. Their pantry is not maintained by anyone at school since it is a community effort, but the high school will continue to be the distribution location over the summer.

 Here at Skyline, students may see Fohs at any time during the school day in the counseling office, and she will be glad to help out.

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