Are You Hungry? Check Out Cottonwood’s Food Pantry!

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Are You Hungry? Check Out Cottonwood’s Food Pantry!

At Cottonwood High School (CHS) more than 50 languages are spoken and a large portion of the student population comes from all around the world. According to KUTV, 65% of Cottonwood’s students live at or below the poverty line. Last year’s SBOs and PTA parents decided to do something about that enormous problem living within CHS’s own walls. For the December Charity last year they put together The Souper Bowl of Caring. With help from students and the community they raised over $12,000 in cash and $4,000 in food donations. Robyn Ivins, last year’s PTA president who started the pantry, told Colt Roundup, “We are happy to receive donations from Eagle scout projects, church groups, Girls on the Run, community food drives, local school food drives, and nearby gardeners giving us their excess. We have a group of women who meet weekly and bring us fresh fruit every Tuesday. We also welcome financial donations to be used for specific needs in the pantry, such as school supplies, coats, shoes, etc.” So, not only does the pantry provide food, but it helps with other essential needs of students.

65% of Cottonwood’s students live at or below the poverty line”

Ivins told Colt Roundup that 20-50 students regularly go to the food pantry. She said, “The pantry is open Tuesdays and Fridays from 1:45-2:45. Students who have to catch a bus are welcome to leave class a few minutes early to come and get the food or other supplies they need. Teachers have been great to allow students to leave class so they can get what they need and still make the bus.” Half of Cottonwood students are on free or reduced lunch and would only receive school breakfast and lunch if not for the pantry. They would go hungry in the evenings and on weekends. However, the food pantry doesn’t just provide food for the needy, anyone who is hungry for a snack can stop by. Ivins expressed her hopes to Colt Roundup that the pantry would be open to all students, “Many students who are in after school sports, clubs, or other programs come and just grab a snack to tide them over until they get home. We also supply the music and theater departments with snacks for their students who are staying late to prepare for the musical. Everyone is welcome to come to the food pantry, whether or not you have food at home. We love to meet the kids and look forward to seeing them each week. We have provided sandwiches for the football team on game days and given them treats as well.” Ivins said that they rely on, “Teachers, counselors and administration to tell students about the food pantry. We also have flyers to put up in every classroom so students know the days and times we are open.”

The pantry is looking for donations that are small enough for students to carry home as many have to walk home. They are looking for items that include but are not limited to:

  • Mac & Cheese
  • Chowder type soup
  • Chunky style or hearty soup
  • Hamburger helper (or any “meal in a box”)
  • Canned chicken
  • Cold cereal
  • Spaghetti noodles (only spaghetti, they don’t take other types of pasta)
  • Pasta sauce – in cans or plastic bottles
  • Peanut butter – small jars are better
  • Jelly – plastic jars only please
  • Granola and Protein bars
  • Snack sized: Fruit Snacks, chips, pretzels, crackers, etc.
  • Rice and beans – in 1-2 lb. bags

Hygiene Items:

  • Shampoo, conditioner, bars of soap, shower gel, chapstick, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, sanitary napkins, tampons, brushes, combs

School Supplies:

  • Notebook paper
  • Mechanical pencils
  • Red, blue black pens
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • Five Star or Pen+Gear 1 subject notebooks with inside pockets
  • Gym clothing sets: (placed in ziploc bags labeled by size S-XL)
  • White shirt – no logos
  • Black or blue shorts- no logos
  • Socks

The food pantry is located in room 511 next to the cafeteria.  Next time you are feeling hungry for a snack stop by the food pantry.  Anyone is welcome.

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