CHARLOTTE – Ballantyne Families Helping Neighbors in Need announced that its new community food pantry is open at Community House Middle School.
Stocked with non-perishable food, the pantry is available for any family that attends or works for one of the nine schools in the Ardrey Kell High School feeder pattern.
BFHNIN was born in 2019 out of an informal group that came together to provide Thanksgiving meals for 100 families identified by the school counselors of the nine Ardrey Kell feeder schools. When schools began to close in March 2020 because of the pandemic, Ballantyne Families quickly acted to provide food assistance to school families with the help of the school counselors. This assistance was given in the form of grocery gift cards and bags of food on a monthly basis. Since 2020, BFHNIN has given out nearly $191,000 in gift cards and more than 1,700 bags of food.
The idea for a food pantry developed in 2021 as the board continued to think about ways to execute its vision of bringing together the community to care for others in their time of need.
In addition to providing food support four times a year (Thanksgiving, December holidays, spring break and summer), the BFHNIN leadership believed that a food pantry would allow families with emergency needs to have immediate access to food other than the designated food support times.
Over the last several months, many volunteers from the community came together to make the pantry a reality.
Principal Brian Slattery at Community House Middle School allowed the pantry to be housed in a trailer at the school. School counselors were instrumental, partnering with BFHNIN to connect families in need with this resource.
Other groups collected food and helped with pantry setup, including Endhaven Elementary, Hawk Ridge Elementary, Community House Middle School, Ardrey Kell High School Kids for Cans, Bridgehampton, Raeburn, and Villages of Ardrey Kell neighborhoods and the Charlotte Women’s Club.
If you or someone you know needs food assistance, school counselors at any one of the Ballantyne-area schools can help. The counselor will fill out a google form with the family to select food options, and once a week, volunteers select the food and deliver it to the counselor who made the request.
To find out how and get more information, please go to www.tinyurl.com/Ballantynefamilies.