Chloe Brookbank: Jennings Panther Pantry helps families, gives students experience

The goal of the Jennings County Panther Pantry is to assist students and their families through food distribution programs. This year, the pantry is run by Roxanne Norton.

These programs strengthen the nutrition safety net through the distribution of USDA foods and other nutrition assistance to children and low-income families.

Norton has taken her role very seriously and is focused on helping those in need. “In the past, my classes have always helped with the Panther Pantry. I thought this would be a fantastic way to incorporate this program into my classroom activities to let students take ownership and give back to the community,” Norton said.

“In addition to truly gaining an understanding of our community needs, students take an active role in spreading the word about the pantry,” she said.

During the last distribution, more than 135 families were served.

Norton says, “The more families we help out, the greater feeling of accomplishment. It is a very gratifying experience to assist people within the Jennings County community.”

The pantry will be open for distribution at Jennings County High School in the back parking lot from 3:45 to 5 p.m. on Dec. 7, Jan. 18, Feb. 15, March 15, April 19, and May 17.

The adult roles and interpersonal communication classes are gaining volunteer opportunities with the pantry through their curriculum. In addition to volunteering, students are gaining an awareness of the needs in the community.

The idea came from the Back Sack program, run by Gleaners Food bank, which is a primary donor for this program. If you are interested in making donations, you can support your local food drives or drop off any items to Jennings County High School.

Chloe Brookbank is a student at Jennings County High School. Send comments to [email protected]