- Associated Press - Monday, January 28, 2019

NEW LONDON, Iowa (AP) - A conference room at a southeast Iowa school has been turned into a food pantry for students and their families.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Bank of Iowa and local community groups helped launch the food pantry at New London School District in December, The Hawk Eye reported.

Families in the district with a student in kindergarten through 12th grade can use the food pantry, which is open on Thursdays. The pantry also offers non-food supplies such as toiletries. About 30 families have used the resource so far.

“It’s kind of on a first-come, first-serve basis, so whenever we run out for the month that’s when we run out, but we have not run out yet,” said Scott Kracht, principal of the New London high school and middle school.

Students can also access the pantry during the school day if they’re hungry.



“It they’re full, they’ll tend to be able to learn better,” Kracht said.

The food pantry is being operated at no cost to the district. The community has been donating items and staff have volunteered their time running the pantry.

“One of the great things is that we’ve met with some of the local churches that are going to help us out with some supplies that we can’t get from the food bank,” said Todd Palmatier, the elementary school’s principal. “Everybody’s kind of pitching in, which is common for New London.”

The district hopes to expand the program by hosting cooking nights, when families can learn to cook meals with food from the pantry, Palmatier said.

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Information from: The Hawk Eye, http://www.thehawkeye.com

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