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Tommy Smith Elementary receives grant for food pantry

Published: Nov. 6, 2020 at 6:23 PM CST
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - As winter approaches, food pantries across the country begin seeing shortages.

With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, the need for food donations is only going up, as many families face economic challenges.

When Teacher Jodi Cowling heard the Kiwanis Club was offering grants for schools, she let them know about Tommy Smith Elementary, a title one school with many kids coming from economically disadvantaged homes.

“We have a lot of families that have been impacted by the catastrophes over the last couple of years and we felt that that would be a great way to help our families even more than we are able to help them now,” Cowling said.

Kiwanis Club of Panama City Treasurer Keith Forehand said it’s important they keep kids fed on the weekends, as well as during the week.

“It’s important because kids can’t always care for themselves. It’s up to us as adults and leaders in our community to do what we can to enable them to achieve their goals in life,” Forehand said.

Principal Debra Spradley says the $2,500 grant will help them revive their school’s food pantry.

“The cost to provide food for their families with the COVID situation is a burden and so this will definitely allow them to have what they need,” Spradley said.

Spradley said the grant money will help supply the food pantry through the rest of the school year.

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