Arkansas High School Razorback EAST has received a $30,000 grant to establish a vital on-campus food pantry, extending crucial support to students and the local community. 

The Grant was secured through the Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas and executed in collaboration with Food Bank of North Central Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas Foodbank, Harvest Regional Food Bank, River Valley Regional Food Bank, and Arkansas Foodbank, this grant represents a significant milestone in addressing food insecurity.

The on-campus food pantry project underscores a deep commitment to community service and social responsibility and plays a pivotal role in financing the setup and maintenance of the food pantry, ensuring its sustainability as a meaningful resource for those in need. The Pantry program neatly aligns with the core values of the AHS Razorback EAST program, which prioritizes innovation, collaboration, and community engagement, the establishment of the food pantry on campus aims to foster a supportive environment. According to a Press Release, this environment will provide students and their families with access to nutritious food, ultimately promoting both physical and academic well-being.

"We are thrilled to have received this generous grant to open an on-campus food pantry. This initiative underscores our dedication to serving not only our students but also the broader community. The goal is to address food insecurity head-on and create a positive impact on the lives of those who may be facing challenges," said Carla Phares, Facilitator of Arkansas High School Razorback EAST.

Anticipated to serve as a central distribution hub, the on-campus food pantry seeks to cultivate a sense of community and collaboration. Beyond its immediate impact, the pantry will offer educational opportunities for students engaged in the AHS Razorback EAST program, granting them hands-on experience in project management, community outreach, and social responsibility. The program's goal is to provide additional food assistance to low-income families with children, particularly those already benefiting from USDA Child Feeding Programs in schools or community sites.

Razorback EAST - Food Pantry Grant - Canva
Pictured standing l-r: Zyria Holmes, Tyaisha Samsom, ArQuevyunna Anderson, Mega Oechsle, Cage Baker, and Ryan Pomes. Seated: Adam Cigainero - Canva
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Phares affirmed, “AHS Razorback EAST is committed to providing a minimum of 25 boxes per week, with the potential to increase this quantity as needed based on our evolving understanding of the process.” Food box distribution is slated for Fridays, following the completion of the pantry setup, encompassing a mix of perishable and non-perishable items in each box.

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