A dedication of the Love Pantry at Winegard Elementary School was held to honor this most recent expansion of the project. Winegard’s Love Pantry is being sponsored by First United Methodist Church of Orlando’s End Childhood Hunger Task Force. The dedication is representative of the long-term support of the Center by First United Methodist Church of Orlando, as they were one of our founding churches back in 1971. The efforts behind this latest partnership was spearheaded by Lora Gilbert, OCPS Sr. Director, Food and Nutrition Services. Pictured here is (left to right) Antwanette Jones, Winegard Love Pantry In-School Coordinator and Guidance Counselor, Lora Gilbert, Terrilyn Jackson, Winegard Assistant Principal, Robert Stuart, Executive Director of the Christian Service Center, Marguerite and Kofi Ghartey, community volunteers.
The Love Pantry is removing hunger as a barrier to learning now at Winegard Elementary School and 65 other schools in Central Florida.
Cornerstone Charter Academy’s Dedicated Ducks Service Learning Club has teamed up with Super Awesome Cool Pottery and the Love Pantry Project of the Christian Service Center to help fight childhood hunger. Join Cornerstone Charter Academy on Wednesday, November 20, for a fun event, knowing that your tax-deductible donation for your dinner ticket (pottery bowl included!) will go to help fight childhood hunger in your local schools. See the event page on the Cornerstone Charter Academy’s FaceBook page, or visit www.cornerstonecharter.com for more details & to find out how to order your tickets! Tickets include painting your own clay pottery bowl at Super Awesome Cool Pottery, dinner at Cornerstone served out of your bowl. Proceeds will go to fund Love Pantries in the schools of your surrounding community, to combat childhood hunger right here in Central Florida.
One of our students just had a mother pass away suddenly. The child and father were overcome with grief, and unexpected/sudden financial hardship. The Walker staff has accommodated this family with the wonderful items that the Love Pantry offers, and with many other special accommodations that we have set in place for the student on the Walker campus. Thank you for the Love Pantry.
Derek Fenton, Walker Middle School SAFE/ Homeless Intervention Coordinator
Lucy has a daughter at Conway Elementary. Because of her job loss, they were forced to move into a hotel. The Love Pantry made a difference as she struggled to get back on her feet. Because of the Love Pantry, Lucy didn’t have to make the choice of paying for the hotel room, or buying food. Now she has been fortunate enough to find work and has been able to lease an apartment. The Love Pantry was there when Lucy and her daughter needed it.
Earlier this year, the Love Pantry greatly improved the lives of a family at one of our Love Pantry schools. A single father of three was bitten by a venomous insect and was in danger of losing his arm. Due to the severity of the injury and a required surgery, he was unable to work. He then lost his job and had no source of income. With no income, he had no way to feed his family. He used the Love Pantry multiple times until he was given legal aid. His family was truly grateful that the Love Pantry helped them through such a difficult time.
I had a mother call me in tears this week. She was embarrassed and ashamed to need to ask for help. She asked if she could come in and meet with me discretely, so that her daughter wasn’t made aware of the family struggles. After meeting with her, listening to her story, and going through the pantry with her, she left again with tears in her eyes, but this time they were tears of thanksgiving for the help she had just received. She said that she felt like 20 pounds had been lifted off of her shoulders, because her family would be able to eat for the rest of the week. She was so very thankful for the generosity of others.
Yesterday, the Love Pantry Dedication to honor the expansion was held in Altamonte Springs at Lake Orienta Elementary School—the first Seminole County school to receive the Love Pantry Program. The dedication represented the five schools that the Oranole Foundation has financially supported and the commitment of volunteer support from Journey Christian Church. Those in attendance included representatives from the Christian Service Center for Central Florida, Seminole County Public Schools, Oranole Foundation and Journey Christian Church.
The Love Pantry is now removing hunger as a barrier to learning in 65 Orange County Public Schools and two Seminole County Public Schools.