BUCKHANNON — A donation by one of its partners in education is allowing Union Elementary School to open a food pantry to help its families in times of need.
Last Friday, Wendy’s of Buckhannon owners James and Debbie Huber stopped by the school to present $1,500 in seed money to establish the pantry.
“Wendy’s is partners in education with Union, so we felt this was something we could do to help, because we know there are families with needs,” Debbie Huber said. “This will be something to help supplement the backpack program.”
Wendy’s will continue to help support the pantry on a quarterly basis.
Dr. Sara Stankus, Union’s principal, said the school hopes to have the pantry open in December.
The Parent Teacher Organization at the school identified the pantry as a need and have already established a place in the school.
“They are going to have school families in need — not income based — who can come in and get the food,” Stankus said. “We are going to open it based on need and also the last two weeks of the month. Our PTO is very active. They take an idea and they are really good at seeing it through.”
Sometimes the last two weeks of the month can be hard for people getting subsidies because they run low, Stankus added.
“A lot of people, even people who have jobs, just need help sometimes,” she said. “We are trying to reach out and help them in any way possible.”
The school already has an active backpack program, which provides items for the students to take home on weekends and holiday breaks.
“We are sending 86 bags home with families who can use them every weekend,” she said. “We have great partners and churches in our community that help with that.”
Funding the pantry was the next project.
“These two wonderful people, Debbie and James Huber, came to us and said, ‘How would you like us to give a gift so you help more people in this community?’” she said. “Of course we said yes.”
Buckhannon-Upshur Middle School established a pantry earlier this year with donations from the community.