KEARNS (News4Utah) - Many families in our area struggle to consistently put food on the table and it's especially hard on the children. Now a grocery store chain is teaming up with the Granite Education Foundation to do something abouit.
More than 60 percent of children in the Granite School District live below the poverty line and many are not getting enough food which hurts their education as well as their stomachs. Many Granite students get breakfast, lunch and an after school snack at their schools but go hungry on weekends and summer breaks.
Granite Education Foundation CEO Brent Severe remembers one in a particular.
"A little boy sitting on the stoop at the front of the school just in tears the last day of school," Severe told News4Utah. "We went out to try to console him and ask him what was going on and he said he didn't want to go home because he didn't know how he was going to provide for himself and his siblings over the summer months because they're so accustomed to coming to school for food."
The Foundation operates 13 food pantries to provide donated food for students to take home free of charge, the newest pantry is at an elementary school in Kearns, thanks to Smith's Food & Drugs "Zero Hunger, Zero Waste" program.
Aubriana Martindale, the Division Corporate Affairs Manager for Smith's, explains.
"We don't feel like any food we produce should ever go wasted and any community we serve should ever have a family that goes hungry," Martindale said. "So what we've decided is to make a pledge to the Granite Education Foundation of $50,000 to open the first in-school pantry for David Gourley Elementary School."
Why David Gourley Elementary School? 516 of the 646 students there are considered "food insecure", many not knowing where their next meal is coming from.
R.J. & Rebecca Spencer have 3 children at the school and plan to utilize the pantry if times get tough.
"It just definitely does ease the burden a little bit to know that if they need just need some bread for sandwiches or something they have a place to be able to get the bread for their lunches or different things," Spencer said.
If you'd like to help the Granite Education Foundation's effort to feed hungry students, go to www.granitekids.org or call 385-646-KIDS (5137)
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