A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bryan Station food pantry part of school’s ongoing efforts to remove barriers to learning


Marian Guinn, CEO of God’s Pantry Food Bank (right), joined Acting Superintendent Marlene Helm at the pantry’s official opening. Guinn noted how students need food for energy and clear thinking. (Photos by Tammy L. Lane)

Marian Guinn, CEO of God’s Pantry Food Bank, right, joined Acting Superintendent Marlene Helm at the pantry’s official opening. Guinn noted how students need food for energy and clear thinking. (Photos by Tammy L. Lane)


 

By Tammy L. Lane
Special to Kyforward
 

Students at Bryan Station High School in Lexington have another source for food, thanks to God’s Pantry Food Bank, which is now stocking the Youth Services Center there. It’s the first school-based pantry in Fayette County and, perhaps, in Kentucky.
 

“This was kind of a dream to have a pantry here and serve kids as they come in,” said YSC coordinator Sabina Massey. “It’s a short-term solution for something we know is an ongoing issue. Bryan Station’s goal always is to remove any barriers to education.”
 

The pilot venture, which opened earlier this month, is part of the School Pantry Program and the food bank’s Childhood Hunger Initiative. The aim is to provide free food for students and siblings who might otherwise not have food in the evenings or on weekends when they cannot eat at school. Funds were provided by a grant from the William Keenan Jr. Trust and The Orphan Society of Lexington.
 

The program mirrors a grocery shopping experience as students select items from categories such as grains, canned fruits and vegetables, protein, eggs, milk, bread and fresh produce.

The program mirrors a grocery shopping experience as students select items from categories such as grains, canned fruits and vegetables, protein, eggs, milk, bread and fresh produce.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with God’s Pantry, and Bryan Station is a wonderful place to launch such an initiative,” said Marlene Helm, the acting superintendent in Fayette County Public Schools.
 

God’s Pantry delivers food once a week to the school, where as many as 30 students can receive about 30 pounds of food apiece. The program mirrors a grocery shopping experience, and Massey helps the students gather what they need.
 

After determining how many youths are in a household, she guides each Station student in selecting items from different categories, including grains, canned fruits and vegetables, protein, eggs, milk, bread and fresh produce. She even provides recipe cards and cookbooks when the teenagers need tips on preparing a full meal.
 

Students can come to Massey directly, and staff members can refer students if they suspect a need. Freshman Jazmin Luttrell stopped by the YSC a few weeks ago for school supplies, and Massey told her about the new pantry.
 

“It’s really good because it helps families who need a hand,” Jazmin said. She also credited Massey, adding, “She’s worked hard to put this together because she knows how students’ lives go.”
 

Marian Guinn, CEO of God’s Pantry Food Bank, joined Helm and Massey at the pantry’s official opening.  
 

“Access to enough nutritious food is a regular problem,” said Guinn, whose organization covers a 50-county service area. “Our hope is we are better able to meet the needs of hungry high school students at this school.”
 

Other food bank initiatives designed to alleviate childhood hunger include the BackPack Program, Kids Cafe and After-School Snack Programs. For more information, visit www.godspantry.org or call Rebecca Price at (859) 288-5324. For more about Bryan Station’s pantry, call Massey at 859-381-3321.
 

Tammy L. Lane is website editor and communications specialist for Fayette County Public Schools.


Related Posts

Leave a Comment