Valley View district assistant Superintendent Rachel Kinder, Irene King Elementary Principal April Vasik, Romeoville Mayor John Noak, Founding Donors Barbara Gulick and Ron McDaniel, Laura Coyle, Executive Director of the West Suburban Community Pantry and Mike Aguilar, Assistant Principal celebrate the opening of WSCP’s first in-school pantry at Irene King Elementary School in Romeoville.
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The West Suburban Community Pantry opened its first in-school food pantry at Irene King Elementary School in Romeoville on November 21, 2019. The free pantry will be available to Irene King families receiving assistance, for shopping once a week on Thursdays from 3:30-5:30 pm beginning on November 21 and will provide fresh meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, fruits and vegetables in addition to a full selection of shelf-stable dry goods. The pantry is housed in a full-sized classroom, which has been outfitted with shelving units, refrigerators and freezer cases. Goods will be procured through the West Suburban Community Pantry’s partnerships with Northern Illinois Food Bank, area retailers and community donations. The pantry will be staffed by West Suburban Community Pantry volunteers in cooperation with school staff and volunteers. “When children are hungry, they are not ready to learn,” says Irene King Principal April Vacik. “We see irritability, fatigue, and an inability to focus. It’s tough to concentrate when you are worrying about when you might get your next meal. We need to help parents provide the fuel kids need to be equipped physically, socially and emotionally. We work hard to provide what all our students need. Now with the pantry right in our building, within walking distance of the neighborhood, and staffed by the same people who work with their kids every day, we want every parent to know we are partners in caring for their whole child.”