Participating in the recent opening of the 30th school food pantry were (l-r) MUST Ministries President and CEO Dr. Dwight “Ike” Reighard, Garrett Middle School Principal Kimberly Jackson and Drew Shambarger, chairman of the MUST Ministries Board of Directors and the Market President for BB&T Northwest Atlanta. Courtesy of the Cobb County School District

MUST Ministries opens 30th school food pantry

During the recent opening of the 30th MUST Ministries school food pantry, MUST Ministries President and CEO Dr. Dwight “Ike” Reighard recounted a story he heard from a Cobb County principal.

The elementary principal told him about a child who came up to her one morning asking for food.

The little girl had not had breakfast, and she confessed to not having had dinner either.

“Why?” her principal asked. “Because it wasn’t my turn to eat” was the little girl’s reply.

Those are the types of stories that inspired MUST Ministries and Garrett Middle School staff to open the most recent school food pantry in Austell as a part of MUST’s Save It Forward Program, according to a statement from the Cobb County School District.

Providing an on-campus food pantry for students had been a goal of Garrett Principal Kimberly Jackson since before she arrived at Garrett.

Thanks to the partnership between MUST Ministries and the Garrett school community, about 40 students and family members were able to choose around 70 pounds of food from the shelves of the new school pantry.

When school staff identifies families in need, these families are able to shop at the food pantry each month and take home the food their family likes to eat versus just picking up a box of already sorted food.

Like shopping at a grocery store, these families also may choose among large pork shoulders for Thanksgiving, school supplies, clothes and toiletry items.

The food pantry is open to families outside of the Garrett school community, including those from nearby schools without pantries.

Garrett’s food pantry is one of three food pantries that are funded, in part, by a grant to MUST Ministries from the United Way.

The estimated $50,000 grant also will help start food pantries at Brumby Elementary School in Marietta, that opened on Nov. 1, and at Fair Oaks Elementary School in Marietta - both a part of the Cobb County School District.


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