Great Schools Partnership, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee and Redeemer Church opened the first food pantry inside a Knox County School last week at Maynard Elementary Community School.
Maynard’s food pantry will be open to families year-round, the third Thursday of every month from 3 to 5 p.m. Maynard is one of 16 Community Schools operated and supported by the Great Schools Partnership.
“Kids cannot focus if they’re hungry,” said Adrien Jones, Great Schools Partnership’s site resource coordinator at Maynard. “Our hope is that this food pantry gives our families a strong sense of support not only from Maynard, but the community at large.”
The opening of Maynard’s food pantry is a perfect example of how Great Schools Partnership’s Community Schools are engaging with community partners and families to break down the barriers that get in the way of student success. When the Great Schools Partnership surveyed Maynard parents about the resources their families needed the most, financial and food assistance were two of their top concerns. Maynard’s current enrollment is at 156 and 100% of the students qualify for the free lunch program.
Second Harvest has partnered with our Community Schools for many years to provide snacks to our students over the weekends and holidays through the backpack program. While the backpack program has been greatly beneficial and will continue, the food pantry allows us to help our families even more.
“Second Harvest and Redeemer Church came to us this spring with the great idea of starting a food pantry at Maynard Elementary. We jumped on the opportunity,” Jones said. “Maynard’s principal quickly came up with the idea of clearing out our supply room and transforming it into the food pantry that we opened to families last week”
The food pantry wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Maynard’s principal, Dexter Murphy and our community partners, Second Harvest and Redeemer Church, and a grant funded to Second Harvest by Morgan Stanley. Maynard Elementary is located at 737 College Street, Knoxville, TN 3792.
For more information on community schools, please go to: www.greatschoolspartnership.com/community-schools/