SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Around 50% of kids at one Spokane Valley middle school worry about where their next meal is coming from. Now, a solution is in the works to make sure no student goes hungry.
Bowdish Middle School and Blessings Under the Bridge are teaming up to create a communal space where students can get access to food anytime they need.
For now, they're calling it a food pantry. They're still tryng to figure out a better name for it, because it's not just going to be food in these spaces, they'll have other supplies as well. The school is also going about providing this resource a little differently - this pantry is for every student, not just those from lower-class families.
"This area, we will have shelves stacked in here. It will be fully stocked for students," said Laura Lindley, principal for Bowdish Middle School.
Give it three more days, and three spaces in the middle school will be filled with stacks of food and other supplies.
"All this stuff is going. This is rice, this is veggies and then all of these," said Jessica Kovac, founder of Blessings Under the Bridge.
Bowdish Middle School will soon have a food pantry from items from Blessings Under the Bridge.
"Different things - mashed potatoes, butter," Kovac said.
But it's not your average pantry.
"We want to be different, we want to be able to be that resource - to be able to bless everybody with kind of a different twist on what we're giving out," Kovac said.
Beyond food, students will be able to have access to other everyday necessities.
"It can be anything for toiletries, to snacks, to napkins, paper towels, toilet paper," Kovac said.
Even clothing will be available to students.
"Bowdish girls, Bowdish boys. This is what we're going to be working on for the next three days," Kovac said.
The great thing for sudents, is it'll all be at school. They don't need to go to a food bank or donation site.
"This will be our area for toiletries, so if kids need things like toothpaste, toothbrushes deodorant, anything that they need to take care of themselves at home on a personal level, they should be able to access right here," Lindley said.
The school wants to normalize this resource to make every child feel welcome to use it, whether they are from low-income or middle class families.
"So if students have a need, maybe for clothing, for food, for toiletries they can just grab what they need and go," Lindley said.
The hope is that this becomes a basic part of school. A space to go so no child feels uncomfortable to get help.
There will be three main areas for free resources, all placed strategically around the building. For any toiletries and hygiene items, students can find them in the nurse's office. If a student is in need of some clothes, they can head to a closet near the school's gymnasium. It's right next to private restrooms, so students can try clothes on and see if they fit. Lastly, the food items will all be in the school's main office.
If you'd like to donate supplies, you can do that at any Blessings Under the Bridge drop-off location. When you donate, keep in mind, your donation will go towards the whole oragnization. If you want it to directly support bowdish middle school, just note it.
You can find all the drop-off locations HERE.
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