Local school helping stock food pantry - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Local school helping stock food pantry

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Classes competed for prizes to see which class brought the most food Classes competed for prizes to see which class brought the most food
Food donated by students Food donated by students
Food inside the Barry Food Pantry Food inside the Barry Food Pantry
Students in class at Western Elementary School Students in class at Western Elementary School
3rd graders at Western Elementary School 3rd graders at Western Elementary School
BARRY, Ill. (WGEM) -

A local food pantry is in need of food as they gear up for the winter months. Students are stepping up to fill the shelves.

Hundreds of food items fill the bleachers at Western Elementary School in Barry, as students hold a food drive.

"To try to bring in food so you can help the people in need," 3rd grader Alexis Wilson said.

3rd grade teacher Gayle Hoskins was one of the teachers that applied for a grant from the Illinois Education Association. They were awarded $1,000 this fall.

"Since the YMCA donated all of the prizes for the food drive, all of the $1,000 was able to be given to the food pantry."

Volunteers at the food pantry said that money will go to buy food for the more than 700 people a month that come to the food pantry. Pantry Board President Kathy Young said that's a big jump from just a few months ago, they were on the verge of closing.

"With the food that they are bringing in, it will be fantastic," Young said. "We can fill our shelves again."

Teacher Susan Stout, who was the other teacher that applied for the grant, said food drives like this also show students the importance of giving back.

"We try to teach the kids how to be good citizens, and this is just a great way to do that," Stout added. "The kids really get into it."

Hoskins said with over half of the district qualifying for free or reduced priced lunches, chances are students are helping those sitting right next to them in class.

"I volunteer at the food pantry on Tuesday nights and I see a lot of these children there with their families, and they're thrilled to get that food," Hoskins added. "It's something they all need."

Teachers said students have until tomorrow to bring in food. Even if you don't have students in the district, you can bring items by the food pantry or the school.

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