Food4TI’s ongoing efforts to improve food access and alleviate hunger among Madison area students and their families were recently boosted by the opening of its 5th in-school pantry at Hawthorne Elementary School.
As a MMSD community school, Hawthorne provides integrated community services for approximately 375 students and their families, almost 2/3 of whom qualify for free and reduced lunch.
The Hawthorne pantry will provide fresh produce, dairy, and meat, in addition to shelf-stable canned goods. The pantry also hopes to provide essential family items such as oral and hair care products, soaps, detergent and home paper goods. Five community volunteers will work to keep the pantry stocked and to assist families during pantry hours. Hawthorne Elementary School staff have been wonderfully supportive and helpful in getting the pantry up and running and will help out as needed.
The Hawthorne pantry adjoins a laundry area which is open for family use; it is anticipated that some parents may combine the convenience of using the school laundry facilities while shopping in the pantry.
On opening day, one parent commented that the pantry was “amazing.” Another parent explained that her large family needed additional food just to get by until the parent’s next paycheck arrived. She explained that it was too difficult to get to the community pantry to replenish the household’s food supply and that the school pantry being within walking distance made food that much more accessible for her family.
If you would like to learn more or volunteer, please contact Tang Yang, Hawthorne school social worker, at 204-2528 or Joel Wish, Pantry Coordinator, at 228-9389.