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Volunteers build food pantry for Central Middle, High School, thanks to School Smart KC

Kayla Neal, Central's Trauma Sensitive Clinician
Posted at 10:09 PM, Sep 16, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Volunteers, in partnership with School Smart KC, turned out to Central High School today to build a new food pantry for the school. It is one of three being built in Kansas City today, as the group works to fight food insecurity in the area.

"A food pantry is something that we need, but we don’t have a lot of people beating down our doors to give it to us," said Central's Trauma Sensitive Clinician Kayla Neal.

Pantries built at Central High School thanks to School Smart KC.

This pantry will serve both Central Middle and High School, with over 900 students combined.

Neal said anywhere from two to 10 students need to use the food pantry daily. With Harvesters, she said they'll be willing to help more families.

"We can have families come in and have shopping experiences," Neal said. "They can go through the pantry, pick what they like."

There were three volunteers with Resurrection Downtown at Central painting walls and building shelves today, but there were about 15 others helping out at other sites. The church also helped pay for the supplies.

"[To] offer some funding knowing it’s not just a capacity building effort, that it’s not just a one and done kind of gift, but it’s a gift that’ll keep on giving," said Community Pastor at Resurrection Downtown Patrick McLaughlin.

Patrick McLaughlin, Community Pastor at Resurrection Downtown

Neal said the students are already grateful for the pantry, but she said they're going to love this.

"The reality of the students that we teach is that if you’re hungry, you’re not learning," Neal said. "This is a huge need."