One Saturday each month, the Faith-Based Collaborative and Charles Carol Middle school in New Carrollton, Maryland partner with the Capital Area Food Bank to host a school food pantry for families in the community. The pantry has been active since February 2011 and has grown to be a regular source of needed food for parents and children.
This program is a favorite among parents who regularly come to the school on the fourth Saturday of each month to receive fresh produce and non-perishable food items. The school pantry starts at 10am but parents arrive as early as 7am to ensure that they get a parking space. In this struggling economy, parents acknowledge that the school pantry is a very important supplement to their meals.
Ericka Black is the mother of seven children and cannot afford to miss the opportunity to receive food through the school pantry. Even though she has a job, she explains that it is difficult to cope in this current economy and she is very grateful for the work of the CAFB, the Faith-Based Collaborative and the school staff.
Mrs. Barbara Fisher is a parent liaison from New Carrolton Elementary School. She says families are constantly looking for resources to help relieve the strain of providing everyday necessities for their families. This need is heightened during the holiday season.
The CAFB School Pantry Program started in early 2011. This program makes available fresh produce and non-perishable food to families of children attending those schools. Currently six schools participate in the program in Washington, D.C. and Maryland.