The Gates-Chili Central School District recently opened a new, easy-to-access food pantry to provide food to anyone who needs it.
Pasta sauce, dressing, fresh potatoes, bread, apples and all kinds of toiletries are available for free at the new Gates Chili Food Pantry that is set up inside the high school.
“It is very busy here on Wednesday afternoons,” said Angelina Pound.
Pound is the coordinator of student and family support services at Gates-Chili CSD. She assists students in foster care and homeless students who attend school at Gates-Chili. She saw a definite need for a food pantry right at school that is open after school.
“We have more families in temporary housing and families facing homelessness so our students are experiencing food insecurity,” Pound said. “When students come to school hungry they can’t learn. If we are not meeting their basic needs first they’re not going to be able to learn so it was really important for us to do this.”
The food pantry started with a grant and help from Foodlink, Gates Chili Community Connections, school groups and donations from area businesses. Volunteers like Sandra Ransom help keep things stocked and organized. Ransom says her mom was a single mom, so she understands tough times and that it is okay to reach out for help.
Currently about 25 families visit the Gates Chili Food Pantry every week. No one is turned away.
The Gates Chili Food Pantry is currently accepting food and monetary donations to continue to help the growing need of families in need in the district.
For more information, contact Angelina Pound, the coordinator of student and family support services at firstname.lastname@example.org.