From a Millennia Elementary School Counselor…

milleniaIt is difficult to put into words how much the Love Pantry blesses families at Millennia Elementary. Without it, children and their parents would be hungry and distressed. No longer do we have to struggle finding ways to provide for them with the Love Pantry on our campus. The food items and personal hygiene products are now readily available to families in need.

One family in particular lives in a hotel room with six children. The mother is disabled and the father struggles to find work every day as a construction worker. On a good day, he fills in as a temporary builder. With your generous gifts of food to this family, the children are nourished and come to school satisfied and able to learn.

Your mission and goal of providing food and hygiene products for our children continues to ease the minds of many Millennia families who are experiencing difficult times. You also help those of us who care so deeply for these precious children. Thank you again for serving ALL of us at Millennia Elementary School. May the Lord continue to bless your efforts as you bless others.

In him,

Mrs. Patti Gordon

School Counselor

Conway Elementary Love Pantry makes a difference!

Conway ElementaryLucy 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.

Venomous Insect

brown recluseEarlier 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.

Tears of Thanksgiving for the Love Pantry

LovePantry Green cropped tight with taglineI 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.

Heather Alexander

6th Grade School Counselor

Piedmont Lakes Middle School

The Love Pantry project has expanded into Seminole County!

Yesterday, the Love Pantry Dedication to honor the expansion was held in Altamonte Springs at Lake Orienta Elementary Schoolgroup shotthe 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.

Wonderful words from an in-school coordinator

We received this testimonial from Judy, a Love Pantry in-school coordinator. It is truly an amazing blessing to see how the Love Pantry has affected lives of our community.

“The Love Pantry has not only been a true blessing for so many of our students and their families, but it has provided me with many more nights of peaceful sleep. It is true. I know people say you can’t take it home with you, but in actuality, if you know you have families that are going without food—you can’t not take it home. When I see the absolute relief on the faces of our families when they know they have food, I feel the same relief. A million thanks would never be enough to express what a blessing the Love Pantry truly is.”

Thank you, Judy and all of those who continue to be involved in helping the Love Pantry project grow.

Can you imagine being 10 years old and hiding food under your bed so you could have something to eat?

This story was reported recently by a Love Pantry In-School Coordinator:

We had a situation at our school where a child confided to her teacher that she was hoarding food under her bed. Her extended family had recently moved in, and there were now 13 people living in the house. Finances were very tight. There was no money to buy the groceries needed to feed that many people. This student didn’t know if she was going to have anything to eat, so she was keeping food items under her bed, just in case.

When a family member came to school to pick her up, we were able to pack a couple of bags of groceries for them from the Love Pantry. The change was instantaneous. It took her fear away.

For a child, the fear of not knowing if they’re going to eat makes it very difficult for them to do homework, or study for FCAT. If you can remove that fear of hunger, then it allows the student to do what we as teachers need for them to do on an educational basis.

The Love Pantry is here for emergency use, just like in the case of that child who was saving food because all the relatives had moved in. I take for granted that I’m going to eat dinner when I go home at night. A child saving food and keeping it under their bed: that’s about fear.

The Love Pantry is removing hunger as a barrier to learning.

Even teachers need help!

This just came in from a teacher whose family was in a crisis situation and needed help with groceries from the Love Pantry:

I would like to personally thank you and the Love Pantry for helping me in my time of need. The love and the compassion shown to myself and my family has been overwhelming. I don’t know what I would have done without you. Blessings to you all. Thank you,Thank you from the bottom of our hearts you guys have been awesome. Hugs to you 🙂 With God all things are possible.

Grandmother is in the hospital and no food in the cupboards; Love Pantry to the rescue!

Having a love pantry has helped one particular family in need. There is a family of 3 siblings that attend our school who have a hard time attaining food. They live with their Grandmother who is in the hospital a lot, and their older brother who takes care of them when she’s away is illiterate. Because of their circumstances, they must try to get food anyway they can. The love pantry has assisted them tremendously in making sure the children are eating. Thank you love pantry!

“What does the Love Pantry mean to our school and our students?”

One Love Pantry School Coordinator’s response:

Although we only started with the Love Pantry several months ago, it has already had a profound effect. One family I was working with was on the brink of living in their car when I was able to help them gather enough money for a deposit on an apartment by assisting them with enough food to get them by until they got on their feet. There were no other resources for this family as they also had run out of money for gas in order to go anywhere to obtain other assistance. I have no doubt this family would’ve suffered gravely had it not been for the Love Pantry.

The Love Pantry: Feeding families, one school pantry at a time.