School pantries offer supplies for needy students
After the success last year of a pop-up pantry at Treasure Mountain Junior High School that allowed students in need to pick up donated items ranging from deodorant and toothbrushes to socks, Park City High School saw an opportunity.
“We decided that the kids here at Park City High School needed a location, the kids at the Learning Center needed a location, and the ones at Treasure Mountain,” said Julie Hooker, a PCHS teacher at the school’s student council adviser.
Recently, students on the Park City High School student council turned that goal into a reality, opening pantries at the school and the Park City Learning Center. That means more students than ever have access to essential items they may not be able to get otherwise.
Currently, the pantries have an abundance of hygiene products, but the students are hoping donations from the community can fill out the offerings.
“We’re hoping to get more school supplies in there because school supplies are so expensive,” said Katie Miller, a member of the PCHS student council. “Hopefully, we can get pencils, notebooks, binders — pretty much anything a student would need in their daily life.”
Another student council member, Mikelle Losee, added that the placement of the pantries is critical. At the high school, for instance, it’s tucked behind the library, offering students easy access but with privacy.
“Even though we live in a fortunate, well-off town, some students don’t have the things that they need,” she said. “And I think a lot of people are almost ashamed of coming forward and saying, ‘I need this. I need help. I can’t get the things that I need.’ But this is super accessible and low-key. It’s not in the middle of the cafeteria. It should make students feel more comfortable to get help.”
Hooker said she’s proud to see students helping their peers. In the classroom, she can often recognize when students are in need of extra help. Now, they have a resource right on campus — one that will hopefully grow as word continues to spread and the community pitches in by donating items.
“Some kids feel bad and don’t know how to get the help,” Hooker said. “The Christian Center is (nearby), and they’re awesome. But to be able to grab things at school and take them home is important. Kids can even grab a snack. It’s just the little things.”
The arsenic-and-lead-containing soil has been a contentious issue for the district, which piled it onto the junior high campus in actions that were later discovered to be in violation of a covenant with the Environmental Protection Agency.
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