Reach Charter Academy is a partner school with Gleaner's Mobile Food Pantry Program. Gleaner’s provides enough food to feed approximately 80 to 100 families, and Reach hosts an outdoor pantry. Foods include protein, fresh produce, canned goods, a variety of frozen options, and sometimes milk and eggs. During March’s outdoor pantry, they were able to feed over 60 families, nearly 163 individuals.
Reach became one of Gleaner’s partner schools in November 2017 and together they run the pantry once a month, year-round. Kristine Koos, social worker at Reach, coordinates and runs the pantry, with fellow social worker, Kari Anne Yu.
“This program is open not only to our families, but to the whole community,” says Kristine Koos, social worker at Reach. “We have many regulars in the community that come out each month to receive food items and they are so thankful. I have met many people in the community through this pantry and have heard heart wrenching stories of poverty and struggle. Helping your community grow stronger helps the school become stronger as well.”
The school’s National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) has been volunteering at the outdoor pantry on a rotating basis in order to complete their community service hours. Reach has also partnered with a local church, who picks up remaining food items and distributes them to additional families in need.
“This program teaches students that we can also incorporate our Moral Focus values into our interactions with the community,” said Koos. “Helping people and spreading kindness through this program really sheds light on the impact we can have.”
Reach’s next pantry is Friday, April 12 at 9:30 a.m.