Local food pantry program helps feed students at school

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OSHKOSH, Wis. – Oshkosh students are back in class, but for many, food insecurity remains a serious issue.

A local pantry is doing its best to make sure students have food when they are at school.

Ryan Rasmussen, executive director of the Oshkosh Area Community Food Pantry, said a program starting soon aims to address food insecurity in schools.

“The cost of everything is through the roof right now,” Rasmussen said. “Inflation is really high and so people really have to make different choices and sometimes those choices don’t necessarily always involve food, so that’s what makes them food insecure.”

He said the School Pantry Program is a partnership with the Oshkosh Area School District. The pantry works alongside guidance counselors and social workers in 23 schools to help identify children in need and provide them with snacks between meals.

He said that this way, parents who cannot afford snacks can rest assured that their little ones are taken care of.

“Being able to provide them with snacks is a great way to be able to do that,” he said. “Maybe granola bars, fruit bars, fresh fruit, i.e. fresh apples and fresh oranges.”

Rasmussen said he and his team know the work they do is important.

“The fact that we are giving back directly to students in the Oshkosh Area School District is extremely rewarding for us,” he said. “We are able to make a difference right here in this community and we really try to give back to ensure that students in need receive all the support possible to succeed. »

Rasmussen said the pantry could always use more help in the form of food, money and volunteers. He said he was grateful for the help they received.

“This community gives us so much,” he said. “It’s our way of being able to give back to them.”

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