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Columbia County high school first in the Capital Region to implement School Pantry Program

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VALATIE, NY (WRGB) -- Through a partnership with the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, Ichabod Crane High School launched a pilot program last year to help alleviate hunger in the community.

They implemented the School Pantry Program - which they refer to as the Teen Weekend Meal Program. The program's coordinator, Robin Sullivan said 20 students receive a bag every week, filled with food to take home for the weekend.

"I had a student the other day who needed some stuff at home, didn't have much, so I took her in the pantry and we loaded up a box and she took it home."

Principal of the high school Craig Shull says the program is flexible to meet the needs of the students.

"This provides that layer of additional support and something we cant meet academically but it's what they need at home - food - and we know for the weekend they're doing well," said Shull.

The students are able to choose meals from a menu that are then packed and scheduled for pick up. A typical take home bag includes a card for milk and a dozen eggs, a coordinated meal, fruits and vegetables, lunch options and snacks.

Sullivan added, "We partnered with the Regional Food Bank on a pilot program a year ago which has been a tremendous help to us because I was able to get much more frozen foods, anything that they can microwave, they get almost double than what they would have gotten in the Backpack Program."

Principal Shull said the goal is for no student to go home hungry.

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