BY ERINNE JONES
Weber High School’s Grab-and-Go pantry was started by the administration in the 2021-2022 school year to provide healthy and easily accessible snacks to students during and between classes. Every student is free to take whatever they need, whether they don’t have frequent access to food at home, or if they’re just in need of a snack.
When asked about why the Grab and Go pantry was important, Weber High principal Chris Earnest said, “Because when kids are hungry, they don’t learn.”
Earnest also remarked that since the start of the Grab and Go pantry, she and the other administrators have been surprised at how much food they go through in a day. Luckily, whenever the program itself falls short of what they need, the local community is always happy to chip in. The program has been extremely beneficial, and has received great feedback directly from the Weber High student body.
This March, the Grab and Go pantry received a donation from the local Kiwanis club. Kiwanis is a nationwide program with individual local chapters that do volunteer work and fundraising to provide for the youth of each community.
Some examples of projects our local Kiwanis chapter has done are the Hope of America Awards and the Cherry Days breakfast they provide for free every July 4th. They also host a local Easter Egg hunt every year, and it’s estimated that about 500 children participate annually. From making small changes like providing Christmas dinner to a local family in need, to larger projects like banding a group together to clean up Washington Boulevard, the Kiwanis Club is an invaluable charitable force in our community. The Kiwanis clubs are specifically geared towards youth and are also heavily involved in public schools; they’re eager to help them out in any way they can.
Dave Haddock, a member of the local Kiwanis chapter, said that the club has given books to elementary schools, helps fund scholarships, and even donates $25 every time a local school has an assembly—for any reason.
The Kiwanis club first heard about Weber High School’s Grab and Go pantry through their own soccer coach, Leiann Price. Price is an active member of the local Kiwanis chapter, and when she heard that the club was looking for more ways to support the community, she recommended the pantry. The club was quick to help and wrote a check to Weber High.
The donation itself was $3000, with $1000 going to emergency safety items and $2000 going toward food. The $1000 safety portion bought the school things like duct tape, flashlights, glowsticks, and first-aid supplies. The other $2000 went to filling up the Grab and Go pantry with food such as granola bars, fruit snacks, applesauce, and other healthy snacks that have helped to create a better experience for the entire Weber High student body, all thanks to the generous help from the local Kiwanis Club.
The Kiwanis Club of North Ogden meets at 6:30 p.m. every first and third Tuesday at North Ogden Senior Center.
To get involved and stay updated about local Kiwanis projects, follow Kiwanis Club of North Ogden Utah on Facebook.