English department houses food pantry for students in need


Maria Santoyo, Staff Writer

English teacher, Kara Karn, started a new tradition at PHS this year when she saw a need for students and food at home. What started out as an idea for an assignment she was doing for her principal certification, turned in to a classroom food pantry for all students in need to utilize.

“I wanted to start the pantry because I read some research that their are a lot of students who have siblings at home who don’t go to school and they don’t have the benefit of receiving a fewer reduced lunch, and I read that some students can feel guilty,” said Ms. Karn. “They may have little brothers and sisters at home who are hungry while they get a lunch.  So I thought it would be a great a idea to have a pantry that all students can come and fill a bag to take home to family, so everybody can eat, especially on long weekend and holidays. ”

The food pantry, started on February 1st, is a “rolling pantry” that moves from English class to English every two days to allow students access to supplies and food they may need at home.  In order to help get the ball rolling with donations,  Student Council designed challenged the PHS classes to bring in non-perishable food items to contribute to the food pantry. To help get donations, they club hosted a “competition” for 4/9 classes and offered a free pizza party for the class that donated the most items.  At the end of February, Student Council has raised over 306 items Ms. Holly Ogata’s 4/9 class was the group that donated the most.

When asked if she would want to continue this yearly, Karn said, “Yes, absolutely, and I move the pantry from room to room, so that all the students can see that it exist.”

She hopes that  it will be sustained because all the teachers also see it and see the value of it. Even if she isn’t here in the future to run the program anymore, she thinks that other teachers would say continue the program.

“I just hope everyone spreads the word that its there and to tell all of their friends.”