Students enrolled at Frick Impact Academy middle school are doing their part to support the community; starting on Friday, the school resumes its monthly mobile food pantry in partnership with Alameda County Community Food Bank (ACCFB).
Recipients don't need to know a Frick student to be eligible; “you just have to walk up,” said Jaymie Lollie, Frick’s community school manager.
Frick initiated the program after a parent suggested contacting ACCFB to set up a mobile food pantry. “That is 100% how it came about,” said Lollie. “Our parents are amazing at saying ‘this is a need,’ and lifting it up.”
Frick did a similar giveaway previously by providing students with bags of food that fit in backpacks they brought home on Friday afternoons to provide weekend nutrition.
“Our students get all or most of their meals at school,” said Lollie.
Expanding the program to serve the broader community seemed like the natural progression, she added. Now in its third year, the mobile food pantry provides information in English, Spanish, and Chinese and serves students, families, and seniors.
The pantry is divided equally between fresh produce and non-perishable pantry supplies. Recipients are guaranteed two dozen eggs and two quarts of shelf-stable milk, along with fresh produce.
Produce varies by season and is based on donations, but always provides a variety of fruits and vegetables. Pantry supplies change, but usually include either rice and beans, or pasta and sauce. There are also household items, such as cleaning supplies and specialty items like hams around the holidays.
Now in its third year, the mobile food pantry operates on the third Friday of each month from 3:30 to 4:30pm at Frick Impact Academy. During the 2016–2017 school year, Frick Impact Academy's mobile food pantry distributed 41,103 pounds of food to 1,541 individuals.
There are no requirements to receive free food, but Frick does ask that all new participants provide their name and phone number so that the academy can call to issue a reminder the week before each food giveaway.
For enrolled students and their families, Frick issues reminders during their weekly telephone calls, via the school's text-messaging system, and also a printed flyer.
Lollie said she's pleased that the pantry serves not just students, but also school staff and the larger community. Students frequently volunteer, she said, frequently asking weeks in advance how they can get involved.
“It’s been a blessing,” said Lollie.
The mobile food pantry at Frick Impact Academy takes place the third Friday of every month, from 3:30 to 4:30pm, and ends on May 18, 2018.
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