PLEASANT GROVE – There are students at Grovecrest Elementary who struggle to get a meal once they leave school, but a new food pantry ensures they don’t have to go without.
Since opening in November, the "Principal’s Pantry," has served 20 students and their families in a closet at Grovecrest Elementary.
The pantry is stocked with everything from snacks, cereal, peanut butter, Mac and cheese and ramen noodles.
Ryan Green, a teacher, came up with the idea to convert the closet into a pantry.
“I was walking through our cafeteria. What I saw with a few kids kinda scared me," Green said.
Green worried about kids who weren’t getting enough to eat at home. According to "No Kid Hungry," one in six kids in the country doesn’t get the food they need. Green reached out to the school’s principal, Kyle Hoopes.
“I'm like, it's yours. Do it! It's something I've been wanting to do," Hoopes said.
Green volunteers his time and all the items are donated from the community.
“I send home a parent permission slip to their parents,” Green said. “They either agree to let them into the program or say we really don't need it right now.”
Green fills up bags with food for students in need. On weekends, he’ll pack up enough for them and their families.
Students can use the pantry confidentially.
“It was really amazing to watch and see their faces light up and say I can take anything? They're always like thank you Mr. Green as they get their bag so I know they appreciate it,” Green said.
There’s been an outpouring of support from the community. They’re brought in bags of food as part of the school’s 5K fundraiser being held Monday at Pleasant Grove Junior High. The theme is “Feed the Bear.” It’s their way to show struggling students they care.
“It's a great thing to bring our community together to help those kids that need a little snack,” Hoopes said.
Green has high hopes for the little pantry.
“Ideally, I'd like to see it's own little building here right on the school grounds. it`s in the community and that`s a big reason why it`s been so receptive because it's not going anywhere it stays right here and it`s our kiddos coming to get it," Green said.
If you would like to donate to the Principal’s Pantry, call 801 610 8109.