District’s food pantry provides groceries to local households with students

District’s food pantry provides groceries to local households with students

District’s food pantry provides groceries to local households with students

In such a prosperous community, it is hard to believe that many students go hungry on a day-to-day basis. According to Feeding America, 122,450 children face hunger in the state of Nevada. That equates to one in every six children. The Food Pantry in the Options Building, next to the Winnemucca Junior High School, has been trying to combat this scary fact by providing free groceries to families in the Humboldt County School District (HCSD). Director of Curriculum for Humboldt County, Colby Corbitt, and Transportation Lead, Anthony Valenzuela supervise the food pantry, which is open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. every Thursday for the remainder of the school year. 

According to Corbitt, individuals must have a student in the HCSD in order to take advantage of the program per the stipulations of the federal funding that is currently backing the pantry. The federal funding is available to the food pantry for years to come, so presently, the pantry does not have to function on donations, even though they are greatly appreciated. 

The goal of the food pantry, according to Corbitt, is to provide students whose families may suffer financial burdens access to groceries that they may not be able to get otherwise. They want to make sure that the basic needs of all students are met and that they are comfortable, he said. Sitting in class with an empty stomach is not a healthy or pleasant way in which to learn. 

“If your basic needs aren’t being met, school is going to be a lot harder. The pantry takes one other need off the table,” said Corbitt.

Individuals do not need to provide pay stubs to use the pantry, only some simple paperwork for records is required. 

Corbitt hopes that this easy process will encourage more people to utilize the available resources and to feed their families. 

All of the dry foods are currently stocked through the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, with the pantry being able to order foodstuff as it is needed. 

The pantry is able to provide goods like eggs, meat, fruit, lunch meat, canned goods, boxed goods, bread, tortillas, frozen foods and snacks, with all shoppers welcome to choose the foods that they prefer. 

People usually trickle in on Thursdays, according to Corbitt, but the pantry has been gaining popularity and more patrons means less hungry families.

Corbitt happily reported that they average about 10 people per week, “but word’s getting out a little and it’s been growing.” 

Corbitt also added that the food pantry will potentially be open more days throughout the summer, a slower time around the district office. Corbitt said that he and Valenzuela are open to accommodating those that are unable to make it in during their current hours as well. To make an appointment outside of the current hours or ask questions, Corbitt can be reached at (775) 421-6800.