RUMFORD — A food pantry at Mountain Valley High School is meeting the needs of homeless and hungry students, organizers say, and another food pantry at a middle school in Mexico plans to make its first deliveries in the coming weeks. I’m here.
The Falcon Food Stop is stocked with non-perishable foods, juice drinks, snacks, flour and oil for home cooking, and hygiene products, the latter donated by school staff.
It opened just before the local school Unit 10 vacation in December, said Kasey Flagg, the school’s mental wellness coordinator.
She and high school nurse Serena Flagg have been organizing and setting up pantries since the beginning of the school year when they applied for donations to The Good Shepherd Food Bank. I met teacher Caitlin Beardsley and social-emotional learning teacher Amber Durant.
As the high school’s mental wellness coordinator, Flag said she realized the need early in the school year when a homeless student came to her for toilet paper.
Nurse Selina Flagg has also heard from students who say they are hungry and need food, especially during weekends and holidays. received.
“We applied in October,” she said. Because both schools meet the requirement that at least 70% of her students qualify for free or discounted meals.
She said there are nearly 400 students in high school and 386 in middle school.
“Everyone has access to the pantry,” says Kasey.
“I am very much looking forward to helping and being part of the (pantry) rotation,” Durant said. We don’t have enough food to bring.”
Beardsley said that when River Valley Rising, a nonprofit that promotes healthy lifestyles for families in the area, donated bags of non-perishable goods to schools several times last year, about a dozen students helped. I said I realized I had taken the bag home. Demand has increased this year, she said, with an estimated 26 students taking food home over weekends and vacations.
The Falcon Food Stop also received supplies and funds from local businesses and community members such as the Franklin Savings Bank and the Oxford Federal Credit Union.
The women said students, teachers, and the high school’s administrative director, David Lamarque, helped stock shelves, pack bags, and deliver.
Durant sees a link between the social-emotional learning curriculum and the school pantry.
“The kind of thing we’re driving in our … curriculum and in social-emotional learning is community, so that’s kind of the piece that wraps it all up,” she said. What a great way to make this kind of[giving]a natural part of the school routine.”
For more information on donating to or receiving from The Pantry, please email Kasey Flagg. [email protected].
Lawmakers have called for more funding to protect Maine’s many lakes