Feb. 3, 2017 – It’s open to students beginning on the
very first day of school and it does not close until the very last day
of school. Stillwater teachers, administrators, and staff members will
always make sure no student goes hungry throughout the school day.
“I noticed the nurse’s office at all levels became a hub for the students who needed food, or they had stomach aches because they were hungry and hadn’t eaten,” said Stillwater Library Aide Megan Sanchez. “That’s when I realized there were nurses and teachers who were buying snacks out of their own pocket for these students.”
That was 2014, the year the district-wide Stillwater Snack Program was implemented by Sanchez. It has since grown and provides students in need with a snack, whenever they are hungry at school.
It all started with a visit to Price Chopper, where Sanchez went and bought some granola bars to keep on hand at the school.
“Honestly, that was just a drop in the bucket,” Sanchez said.
Since then, she has partnered with the Regional Food Bank, where she can buy cases of things like pretzels, protein bars, rice cakes, and bottles of water, at a discounted price.
Once a month, Sanchez places an order to the Regional Food Bank for
what the district needs. Volunteers from the Stillwater Food Pantry
then go and pick it up and bring it back to Stillwater. Once it
arrives to campus, the National Honor Society helps Sanchez distribute
the food to the elementary school.
In the middle school/high school there is a closet open to all administrators that is kept stocked with a variety of snacks. The teachers are able to go and get snacks to keep in their room and a student is able to ask them for whatever they need. Students at the elementary school can go get their snacks in the nurse’s office.
“It’s so easy to identify when elementary students have needs because it’s written all over them,” Sanchez said. “The middle school and high school students are more difficult because they are embarrassed and they don’t want their friends to know” she added.
“We try and make it so that all students can have access to these snacks and it can be done confidentially,” Sanchez added.
The Stillwater Snack Program runs solely on donations from the community. Without those donations, this program would not be possible. Those wishing to donate can visit http://www.regionalfoodbank.net/donate-money/. Click on "Adopt a Program" and then specify "Stillwater Snack Program #1833D.”