Food pantry feeds the need at Sussex Central

30 SCHS food pantry

Eneicia Wescott, left, and Sarah Shoup, co-presidents of Sussex Central High School’s Students In Action, hold Holidays Without Hunger packages in the school’s food pantry that opened in mid-December.

GEORGETOWN — At Sussex Central High School, hunger knows no boundaries.

As the holiday break neared, the school’s new food pantry was made available to students and the SCHS community.

And in that community there is a need to be fed, say SCHS seniors Sarah Shoup and Eneicia Wescott, co-presidents of the school’s Students In Action, which is teaming with National Honor Society members to run the pantry.

“We saw a need for students and families,” said Sarah.

The pantry, stocked from in-school food drive efforts and donations that include those from the Harry K Foundation, is open after school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2:45 p.m. to 4 p.m.

It is also open by appointment by contacting Randy Ramirez, SCHS’s student advisor.

In addition to a large stock of canned goods, pasta, rice, cereal and other basics, it offers baby food and diapers, shampoo, toiletries, laundry detergent and other basic daily life essentials.

The pantry officially opened for business Dec. 14.

“The only requirements really are that it is someone from the Sussex Central family,” said SCHS Assistant Principal Matt Jones.

Through the first week, only one family had sought assistance but organizers are hoping others in need will come forward.

“It’s confidential, so nobody is going to know,” said Eneicia.

‘Yes, it is completely confidential,” said Sarah. “We’re not here to take the names of the students and go around and make fun of them – because it’s nothing really to be made fun of. A lot of the students here are in this position. Our school is 70 percent in poverty.”

The pantry’s stock features Food Lion’s Holidays Without Hunger packages, donated through food drive efforts of Madison Tober, whose sister Ally Tober is a Student In Action member.

The community-based pantry is an extension of a support initiative already in place.

“We also have the Backpack Program here, where we send kids home with food for the weekend, but it’s just for them, not their entire family,” Sarah said. “We saw there was a need for it to be expanded. We started this.”

Mr. Jones estimates that 90 percent of the pantry’s food stock was donated through SCHS connections.

“The Harry K Foundation will continue to help us to stock things that we need but we did want to continue to do food drives, not only for us but to donate to other foundations as well and the Backpack Program,” said Sarah.

In-school food drives normally last one to two weeks.

“The last time we did it, at the beginning of the year, it was a competition between classrooms, so they (winners) got a breakfast,” said Sarah.

“We give them an incentive,” added Eneicia.

Students In Action is a volunteer effort in the community. Previous projects include Habitat for Humanity and a nursery painting project at the Stockley Center.

“When we find out that people need help or organizations need help we try and get a group together to help them,” Sarah said.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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