(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The Second Harvest Food Pantry hosted staff from the St. Joseph Public School District Monday.
Students in the district had the day off but district employees were back at work for professional development. SJSD faculty and staff fanned out into an assembly line and packed meals at the pantry Monday afternoon.
While the meals packed were for area senior citizens, the pantry provides 3,500 area children supplemental weekend meals through its Backpack Buddies Program during the school year.
Children enrolled in the program, received breakfast, lunch, and a snack to take home each weekend during the school year.
Assistant Superintendent Gabe Edgar said schools often see “food insecurity” or unreliable access to affordable, healthy meals, firsthand. The percentage of people who are what the state and the federal government call “food insecure” is higher in Missouri than for the country as a whole.
Across the U.S. 12.5 percent of households didn’t have reliable access to food in 2017. In Missouri, 14.2 percent of households, or 865,400 people, are experiencing hunger. More than a quarter of which, are children.
Edgar said the administrative team knows and believes in Second Harvest’s mission to feed the community. He said that is why the administrative team volunteered to spend the day working and giving back to the pantry.