Click below for a Love Pantry brochure:
Click here for 58% of OCPS students are on free or reduced lunch.
Many of these students are going to their school cafeterias to eat the only nutritious meal they will have for the entire day. Way too many children and their families have limited financial resources, are homeless and living in shelters, hotels or out of their family cars. The In-School Pantry Project, now known as the “Love Pantry”, is an initiative of the Christian Service Center for Central Florida, in cooperation with Orange County Public Schools and with initial funding through the Love Orlando fund established by First Baptist Church of Orlando, to provide struggling families with emergency food distributed through Orange County Public Schools (OCPS).
Children who are hungry struggle to learn – it’s a proven fact. School is back in session with the Love Pantry ready to help feed hungry children. Since the Love Pantry project began in 2011, over eight thousand family members have received food and hygiene items, plus valuable community resource information available in each of the 63 Love Pantry schools. “When I first approached First Baptist Orlando with a funding request for putting a food supply directly into schools, I had no idea the program would be this successful,” commented Executive Director Robert Stuart.
Each project school is provided with a lockable cabinet stocked with food items identified as commonly in demand. When a student/family is in need, the school’s staff member can go to the cabinet to provide enough food for several family meals, plus give them valuable community resource information. Each pantry provides canned and “shelf-ready” food items and personal hygiene items for those children and families in need. This equates to more than 1,100 meals for each school in just one semester!