Dist. 21 launches food pantry thanks to grant, donations
Community Consolidated School District 21 is providing weekend food boxes to district families in need, thanks to a $25,000 grant from No Kid Hungry and donations from families, staff and vendors with which the district works.
The food boxes provide pantry essentials and fresh produce to families in need and supplement the district's weekday breakfast and lunch distribution to children. District 21 has distributed 250 Family Food Boxes each of the last four weeks and will continue distribution into June.
Since weekday meal distribution began March 16, District 21 has served an average 3,500 students daily, with a peak of 4,336 students on one day.
"We are incredibly grateful to No Kid Hungry, our staff members, families, community and corporate partners for their donations to make our family food boxes possible," said Michael Connolly, superintendent of District 21.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all families in different ways. Thanks to our community's support, we are able to nourish our students over the weekend and reduce food insecurity."
The $25,000 grant from No Kid Hungry provided foundational funding to get the District 21 Food Box Program up and running. The Parent-Teacher Organizations of District 21's three middle schools, Cooper, Holmes and London, donated $750 each in recognition of the eighth-grade Class of 2020. The Field Elementary School PTO also donated $1,000. District 21 staff members have donated more than $7,500, as well.
Additional donations from corporate partners underscore the vendors' commitment to the District 21 community. OrganicLife, District 21's food service provider, donated $15,000; and ARCON Associates, Gilbane Building Company, and Nicholas & Associates, District 21's construction partners, each donated $2,000.
To donate to the Family Food Box Program, visit ccsd21.org/katiesamsel.
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