The Food Shuttle has officially opened its 25th school pantry! The newest pantry will serve students and the community in and around Smithfield-Selma High School and could not have happened without the generous support of Sysco Raleigh.
In 2015, a group of students realized that classmates were in need and opened a school pantry at Smithfield-Selma. However, following Hurricane Matthew in 2016 students realized that they needed to do more to serve the greater Johnston County community.
“As we were working to clean out an old storage trailer we got the most amazing call from the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and Sysco saying ‘we want to sponsor you - we want to make this a true community food pantry,’” says Cynthia Hutchings, pantry coordinator and IB teacher. “It would have taken us 2-3 more years if we had to do it on our own. Thank you for making this dream a reality.”
The pantry will officially open to the public on Friday, April 27th and will serve the more than 20% of Johnston County residents that are in need of food and clothing.
For Sysco Foods, it was a natural fit.
“We wanted to be able to give back to the community and nourish our neighbors,” says Doug Faber, Director of Business Resources for Sysco Raleigh. “It was important that Sysco brought something to the Smithfield-Selma area, as that’s where we are based. We look forward to supporting this pantry going forward!”
The pantry will be open on Tuesdays and Fridays and will be staffed by students from OCS, Life Skills, Choice Academy and the IB program. It’s a chance for these students to gain real-world job, communication and life skills, while serving their community. The pantry will be stocked with shelf-stable goods in addition to fresh produce and soon freezers full of frozen meat and vegetables.
The Smithfield-Selma pantry represents the Food Shuttle’s Feed, Teach, Grow philosophy and we couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it!
Thanks to everyone who came out in support of the ribbon cutting, including the Smithfield-Selma Chamber of Commerce, Selma Mayor Cheryl Oliver, Doug Faber and Tom Woods from Sysco and all the student and faculty representatives from Smithfield-Selma High School!