Harding teacher sees hungry students, develops food pantry


Harding Elementary’s food pantry is getting filled, thanks to first-grade teacher Shannon Sefcik.

Sefcik said she simply saw a need in her students and set out to fulfill it.

“Sometimes I saw students come in Monday mornings, and they’re hungry or they’re coming in and they just can’t get enough breakfast,” she said. “So, we just started buying food and sending it home with the kids on weekends.”

The blueprints of a food pantry had begun with Sefcik’s efforts.

Stephanie Gilchrist, Inspiring Minds Youngstown executive director, said soon after the food pantry was started, she noticed students eating half of what they were given and taking the other half home.

“When I asked why they did that, they told me it was for their siblings, and that triggered me,” Gilchrist said. “I thought, ‘This is unacceptable. What happens when they leave us?’”

The next week, Gilchrist reached out to Second Harvest Food Bank.

“It was a no-brainer that there is a need for this in the school,” Gilchrist said.

Read more about the matter in Tuesday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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