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Dayton Public Schools opens food pantry for families at Edison Elementary

Liz Swanson, Edison Elementary's Family Resource Coordinator said families can get in contact with her to make an appointment to use the pantry or arrange a delivery to their home.
Alejandro Figueroa
/
WYSO
Liz Swanson, Edison Elementary's Family Resource Coordinator said families can get in contact with her to make an appointment to use the pantry or arrange a delivery to their home.

Dayton Public School officials held a grand opening for a new food pantry on Wednesday. Edison Elementary is now the first school in the district to have a pantry that’s available for students and their families.

The pantry at Edison Elementary near the Wright-Dunbar neighborhood in Dayton is stocked with home staples like rice, bread, milk and frozen meals.

Several zip codes in Dayton are considered food insecure, according to the Montgomery County Food Equity Coalition. Through surveys, Edison Elementary officials identified a key priority for the building was a food pantry. That’s why Dayton Public Schools partnered with the Dayton Foodbank and the Dayton YMCA.

Dr. Elizabeth Lolli, the Dayton Public Schools Superintendent, said the pantry is yet another effort to help fill the gap of food access in the community.

“There's a vast need across Dayton for food pantries, for food supplies, and this helps stop some of that need for food, because we're here available to share it with our families and to share it with our students.” Dr. Lolli said.

If a family has limited transportation, school coordinators can arrange for the food to be delivered to their home, according to Liz Swanson, the Family Resource Coordinator for Edison Elementary through the YMCA.

The pantry will also be open through the summer. Dayton Public Schools summer feeding program still remains along with the Dayton Foodbank’s Good-to-Go Backpack Program. Edison is one of the distribution sites for students.

Lolli also said some other schools in the district are already exploring options to open their own food pantries in the near future.

There is no limit to how often a family can use the pantry. To make an appointment parents can get in contact with Edison Elementary’s family resource coordinator.

Later in the summer, the pantry will include locally grown produce from the Possum Creek MetroPark garden.

Food reporter Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Support for WYSO's reporting on food and food insecurity in the Miami Valley comes from the CareSource Foundation.