Stillwater School Starts Free Food Market For Students
News 9 - April 20, 2022 6:26 am
STILLWATER, Oklahoma –
“Once you get them fed, then they are able to focus on the academic aspect,” said Patricia McClain, school counselor.
At Lincoln Alternative School in Stillwater the faculty and staff recognized the lack of food for some of their students, so they started a free food market.
“It was kind of an ah-ha moment for me a little bit, when I was in here with some of the students showing them around, they were like a little apprehensive,” said Principal Trent Swanson.
Mr. Swanson reassured the students that this was all for them.
“A few of them asked, well I don’t want to take too much, you know I want to make sure that other students have it. And I said, ‘Hey if there is a need please take it,’” said Swanson.
Items for the market are supplied by Our Daily Bread, a local food bank
“There was a need that we saw that we could fill and if we can provide the food here, and that gives the kids the ability to focus on their schoolwork, it takes the stress off of them,” said Zack Wilson with Our Daily Bread.
School counselor Patricia McClain agrees that lack of food in the home is a burden many kids carry.
“When you’ve got so much on your shoulder, and you’re trying to balance everything, it’s really difficult and we don’t want them to feel that they are all alone,” said McClain.
The market is free for all the students to come in three times a week and get as many items as they need.
“He said, you know what I feel kind of guilty, and I said why? He said my mom just went to the store last night. He said if I had known about this, I would have been able to provide,” said Swanson.
The market isn’t monitored by staff or by technology, students swipe their issued card, that contains their number, for the purpose of keeping track of popular items.
“It’s open all day long, they can come, they can get their card they can drop it in the box, and they can go shopping,” said Swanson.
The Stillwater school district along with Our Daily Bread are looking at the possibility of taking this pantry to every school in the district.