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At Oak Middle School, we have created several programs to help families who are experiencing any issues with food insecurity at no cost. We call it Food for Families. One component is a food pantry that supports families for many reasons—the extent of our support can vary. We can supply groceries on a regular basis, a short stint to get through a difficult time, or occasional weeks when resources are tight. If the food pantry can help you and your family, please contact the school nurse: email@example.com. She will gather your information, in a confidential manner, and pass it along to the food pantry. Typically, we send groceries home on Friday afternoon. When a long weekend or school vacation is approaching, we help families with more food to supplement the missing breakfast/lunch offered at school. All food is packed into backpacks and distributed through the nurses’ office.
As part of the Food for Families initiative, we provide free brown bag lunches on half days. Any student can partake—and we encourage students to take a lunch for siblings as well. If you want your child to receive a brown bag lunch on half days, please contact either the nurse or your child’s homeroom teacher so we be certain we have enough lunches prepared.
A third component of our Food for Families initiative is a Share Basket in the cafeteria. The Share Basket at Oak Middle School helps to provide nutritious snacks, fruit, yogurt, cheese and drinks for students who need something to eat (or something extra) during their lunch period. Sometimes students add food to the basket (any prepackaged snacks, yogurt, wrapped cheese sticks, etc.) and other times students take a snack from the basket. This helps to eliminate waste and it helps supplement student lunches.
At Oak Middle School, we have created several programs to support our initiative of feeding families who experience food insecurity. Two years ago the Community Service and Leadership Club ran a food drive and stocked a school based food pantry and began a Friday backpack program. This year, the club began experimenting with a community garden so we could provide fresh produce in the spring and fall. This year we are harvesting lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, summer squash, broccoli, basil, rosemary, parsley, and sage. Next spring, we are hoping to expand the garden so we will be able to harvest more vegetables that will be ready in the late summer and early fall such as winter squash, potatoes and root vegetables.
Below you can view some of our Food Pantry and OMS garden pictures, which are maintained by our OMS students