Sparks Food Pantry

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Students helping students. That's the focus of a new program Sparks High School has started. Thursday the schools food pantry opened its doors.

It was started by two University of Nevada Reno students who saw that more than half of Sparks High School had trouble affording food.

"It's a wonderful feeling this is something that's dear to my heart. We feel that this is one of the the most important things that can happen, because if students are hungry they can't learn," said Marcia Cooper who helped start the pantry.

Students who need to use the pantry are able to take anything they want.

" I was happy that someone actually cared for the kids in the community and that someone really cared for those that don't have enough food or enough money to support themselves and live," said Senior Donny Toms.

The Food Bank of Northern Nevada donated money to help build the shelves,
and the students organized a week long food drive. They also worked to help put the pantry together.

" You can see the massive effect it had on some of our classmates, and now we can provide the food ourselves. It's nice that people are being affected by us," said Logan Baker Sparks Class President.

School counselors are getting the word out to those students that need help the most. When she showed Toms the pantry, he told her it was like Christmas.

"Donny said, can I have some tuna? How about peanut butter? And I said you can have whatever you want. By the time we finished we had a huge bag and I said I better get my car, because all the cans fell out of the bag. So we were just piling cans into the back of my car," said Sparks Counselor Kim Milsap.

The pantry also has clothes, blankets and baby food. Organizers also plan to hold group counseling workshops for students.

If you would like more information on how to donate clothing or non-perishable food items click on the Hot Topic link.

This is the fourth school pantry to open in the Washoe district. Galena High School, Damonte Ranch and North Valley High School also have school pantries.