Milton Elementary Food Pantry Opening Celebrated
On Monday, November 18, 2019, students, staff, parents, volunteers and community members gathered at Milton Elementary to celebrate the grand opening of the school’s brand-new Food Pantry at the new location.
The Food Pantry is funded by the Harry K Foundation, and through the Food Bank of Delaware. “We are so grateful for Harry Keswani and the Harry K Foundation for their support of our school’s food pantry,” said Gloria Ho, Milton Elementary Social Worker. “In the first year we had 109 students who received food, and over the last ten years about 1,139 students have benefited from the pantry. With this space in the current building, we’re able to store more food items for those students in need.”
The Milton Elementary Food Pantry opened its doors on Federal Street in 2014. Now, in its sixth year, the pantry is located at the current Milton Elementary location on Mulberry Street, which is the former H.O. Brittingham Elementary. Once the renovations to Milton Elementary are complete in the fall of 2021, the Food Pantry will move into the new building with the students.
“There are numerous benefits of having the pantry in our building,” continued Ms. Ho. “Many times, our staff are the first to recognize signs that a student has food instability. We are on the front line of being able to identify and address their needs. Our staff also has the ability to reach out to the parents and help the student or their family who is in need. Often times food instability or lack of clothing are signs that there is a greater need we should be helping with.”
To date, the Food Pantry has given out over 39,000 bags of food and currently has 100 students in the program. Last year, they served over 94 families who used the pantry more than 200 times.