BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A $20,000 check for the Food Bank of Western New York is providing big support for a much-needed program.
The Dunkin Donuts Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation announced the donation for the Food Bank’s new School Pantry program during a presentation at the Western New York Maritime Charter School Wednesday morning.
The School Pantry program started as a pilot program at the Maritime Charter School and the Charter School for Applied Technologies late last spring. The donation announced this week will keep the program going in those schools and will allow the Food Bank of Western New York to expand the program to other schools by the end of this school year.
The program allows students to take home a wide variety of healthy foods from school to help feed their families. With the pantries located in the schools, access is a key element of the program.
Shay Livingston, a WNY Maritime Charter School senior who has been able to take advantage of the program, says it’s been a huge help to her and to her four younger siblings she cares for. “If you are hungry during the testing, you’re not focusing on what’s going on on the paper, you hear your stomach growling and things like that, so for me, when I miss breakfast, I’m able to have a protein bar from the pantry food that we bring home from school,” Livingston explained. “And the greatest thing is the amounts and the portions, based on how many people are in your family, you get that amount.”
The $20,000 donation announced this week for the School Pantry program is part of a three-year $1 million nationwide commitment from the Dunkin Donuts Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation to help fight child hunger.
There’s a very real need for that help, and that’s clear at the WNY Maritime Charter School. About 85 percent of the students at that school qualify for free or reduced price lunches. School officials say, without the School Pantry program, the lunch students get at school may be the only good meal they get each day.