Learning on an empty stomach isn’t easy. It’s uncomfortable and distracting, making it hard to focus. That’s why Pueblo’s Central High School staff and volunteers want to make sure hunger doesn’t affect their students’ ability to be successful.
Every Thursday afternoon, for an hour, students in need of additional resources happily convene in a small room on the second floor, where they’re given plastics bags to fill up with food.
“We always encourage them to get what they need,” said Shirley Arriaga, a community advocate. Bookshelves are used to hold rows of dry food and canned goods. A refrigerator in the back of the room is packed with fresh fruits and vegetables.
The School Pantry opened its doors in September of last year. Since then, it has served hundreds of students, teachers and families.
It’s a no judgement zone. The staff says they want the pantry to be a warm and welcoming place for everyone who comes in for assistance. And numbers show they are making a powerful difference. They served 115 households last month. About 30-35 students stop by each week.
“It’s a big hit. The kids are so excited about getting the different kind of vegetables or fruits,” said Arriaga.
The Central High Food Pantry is managed by staff and volunteers that are devoted to making their community better and brighter. The love and dedication that they pour into this endeavor is truly inspiring.
The School Pantry was made possible through the generous support of the following partners: