Children who are hungry often can not concentrate as well on learning. They tend to be focused on their hunger. We are very proud to have a program to help address and reduce hunger in our community. Cubbie’s Cupboard is the Nevada Community School District’s school food pantry.
For up-to-date news on Cubbie’s Cupboard, visit our facebook page.
Benefits of a school pantry include its convenience, comfort and familiarity to kids in need and their families. Cubbie’s Cupboard is operated by school staff and regular volunteers from a connection group who know their school’s students and can help anticipate needs. Many students will take food home to feed younger siblings, parents and even grandparents. All food for our pantry is donated from the Food Bank of Iowa or individuals and groups in the community. Brett Barker, who regularly volunteers, said, “The community support for Cubbie’s Cupboard has been incredible. It’s so encouraging to see the community rally around helping our friends and neighbors through Cubbie’s.”
Cubbie’s Cupboard partners with community organizations. Many food drives are held yearly as well as individual and financial donations to help fill in the gaps. We often have in-house groups collecting food through student council events, dances and other collections. It is wonderful to see our students helping students.
Students learn about the school pantry from a variety of sources, including their school announcements and referrals from teachers and other school workers. The pantry is open to all students and parents of students in the Nevada.
It is important that students can use the pantry discreetly. At times, it can be embarrassing for students to take food home on the bus. We work with them to fit food in their backpack. There are no restrictions on the frequency of their visits and we will keep filling their backpacks so we can help accommodate their needs in a respectful way.
There are two nights a month that we are open for walk-ins — the first and third Wednesday of each month, from 4-5:30 p.m. However, we schedule appointments with families as needed to meet their schedules.
While our pantry may be small, it fills a big need. We are able to make orders from the Food Bank of Iowa as needed and are lucky to have such great community support. Christy Lingenfelter, who volunteers regularly at the pantry stated, “We are called to love one another and serve those in need. There is a special joy in seeing the look on a mother’s face as you are loading groceries into her car and she realizes she can now provide for her family.”