Target, Second Harvest Food Bank, and CIS have teamed up to operate an ongoing, monthly food pantry for families at Albemarle Road Elementary School (ARES). This school/food pantry partnership is only the second in the country that Target has sponsored. On May 5, the first event provided canned goods, boxed food, fresh produce, diapers, and paper products to 234 ARES families!
Target provides the funding, and Second Harvest purchases, stores, and delivers the food and is supplementing additional food when the need occurs. Maritza Whitsell, CIS Site Coordinator at Albemarle Road, is the lead contact at the school and responsible for identifying the families most in need, contacting and pre-registering them, and recruiting school staff and volunteers to help at the distribution event.
“The only requirement that Target stipulates is that families must attend one parent workshop at the school each month,” said Whitsell. “This is perfect for CIS, because it provides a powerful incentive to get parents to the school and get them involved. Not to mention that it is providing a critical basic need for these families.”
Target currently sponsors the CIS program at ARES, which provides full funding to have a CIS Site Coordinator based at the school. Target also provided funding and volunteers this past fall to do a complete library “make-over” at the school. And now Target is committed to funding this monthly food pantry when school resumes in August. Many thanks to Target and Second Harvest Food Bank for supporting our students and families in this way!