Crockett opens food pantry

With the support of the West Texas Food Bank, Crockett Middle School recently started a food pantry for its students and families.

The opportunity came about through art teacher Priscilla Hernandez. Principal Maribel Aranda said Hernandez puts in an order five days before and they receive it on Wednesdays.

Students help put the boxes together after school.

Hernandez said they get four or five pallets of food. The closet-like pantry also has a refrigerator.

Aranda said the food bank sends chicken, breakfast sausage, beef, bread, pastries, canned goods, flour, potatoes, and fruit sometimes fresh fruit.

The campus is about 68 percent economically disadvantaged, but Aranda said technically they are probably a bit more. Nearly 1,100 students attend Crockett and Aranda said she keeps enrolling youngsters.

“We have been getting about 30 families every week or so that come in and get boxes of food,” Aranda said.

“I think it serves two purposes: It helps our students become leaders and be part of the community, and of course, it helps our families that may need a little boost in our economy right now,” Aranda added.

Hernandez said this will be the fourth week for the pantry distribution.

“We do have it on the Crockett website and I do send a parent link to parents to let them know if you are in need of some food, we have some boxes that you can come in and get and then we give them the time and they come in and do it,” Aranda said.

“We’re doing it once a week on Thursday. Parents show up and take the box home,” she added.

She noted that parents have been really thankful and have asked if they can donate food.

Hernandez said the pantry came about around the same time as Empty Bowls, a fundraiser for the West Texas Food Bank.

Hernandez said she was talking to students about the pantry and they told her they thought it was for “poor people.”

“I said no, not necessarily. Sometimes you have unexpected bills come up, or your vehicle breaks down and you’re short on stuff for groceries so I said don’t feel like it’s just for poor people. It can help anybody,” Hernandez said.

Aranda said she is glad Crockett can provide this service to their families.

“… I said it’s been a double blessing because some of our students are seeing this, even our specialized classroom unit, they’re like hey can we help sort?

So they are learning sorting and counting and things like that, so like I said, it benefits a lot of kids here as well as the families,” Aranda added.