DMPS Launching Districtwide Food Pantries

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Nearly 75 percent of students in the Des Moines Public Schools district qualify for free or reduced-price lunch.

A new program is helping to ease of burden of childhood hunger.

“There have been nights where I have gone without food and weeks without food and I want to make sure I can help out people who are in the same situation,” said Lincoln High School student Jeffery Robinson.

Lincoln High School opened a food pantry for the district’s low-income students and their families. The pantry is run by teachers and students and the Iowa Food Pantry supplies fresh produce, frozen meat and other grocery items in addition to hygiene products.

Organizers said launching the program was a community effort.

“We have our food science classes working on recipes to go home with some of the pantry items so families have an idea of how to put items together for a meal. We had woodshops students come in and build all these wonderful shelves and make sure everything is level so we can hold all of the items,” said Cara Graziano, a coordinator at Lincoln High School.

Pantries at East High School and Scavo High School opened earlier this month.

If you would like to help with school pantries, visit www.foodbankiowa.org.