A while back we told you the story of Klista Bomberger and what she did to bless the children in her school during the holidays. Well her story continues. Here’s what she’s doing now to help families in need at her school and teach generosity to the youngest kids at Pulpit Rock Church.
About Mountain Vista Community School
Mountain Vista Community School is a Kindergarten through 8th grade school in Harrison School District 2. We have a very unique demographic of students with a high percentage of our students qualifying for Free/Reduced lunch, a lot of our families living at or below the poverty line, and then a high percentage of our students being bused from other areas of the district to attend our programs for children impacted by an Autism Spectrum Disorder (as we house 6 classes for children impacted by ASD). It is a very exciting place to work, and I have had the opportunity to work as a school social worker here for the past 4 years.
Why a food pantry?
Due to the high number of children living with very little I had thought a lot about starting some type of food program at the school, but due to business was only beginning to do research last year when I learned that two of our teachers had applied and received a grant for a food pantry through Care and Share. I quickly jumped on board, supporting this pantry on a weekly basis, providing food to those in need. This year, those two teachers are no longer at my school, and I decided this program needed to continue.
I applied and once again our application was accepted and the Food Pantry was a go. Yet, the needs still continued to grow so I decided that the next step in our pantry would be to provide families with more than non-perishable. They needed access to things like fresh fruits and vegetables. I wrote a grant for a Donors Choose and our refrigerator was funded! We now not only have the space for the non-perishable items, but we can provide items that require a fridge or freezer! So exciting!
Partnering with the cafeteria and Pulpit Rock Church
As this year has gotten underway, we have more and more students and families accessing the food pantry each week. A partnership was formed with our cafeteria and staff that work during breakfast and lunch to help gather up unopened food items such as cartons of milk, bags of vegetables, yogurts, cereal bars, and other items that could be placed in our pantry instead of being thrown away.
Yet, the needs still grow. By the end of each month, our pantry is down to the bare minimum.
So, I decided to reach out to Pulpit Rock to see what could be started by way of partnership. I work in the 3 year old Bee’s class at the 9:00 hour in the preschool, and so was able to connect with Sarah Tinan. She had been looking for ways to help our little ones begin experience the joy of serving others, but that is quite challenging when you are three.
We have created a partnership where food items can be brought in by our little ones to be donated to the food pantry. On top of that, we are going to collect hygiene items, and other small items that can be given out to our students. We talk about what it means to serve and why Jesus wants us to serve others. We are trying to teach even these little ones what it means to have a servants heart.
I am so excited to see where God leads this partnership in the future!
“The Early Childhood Department is thrilled to join Klista in providing an easy way for preschoolers to connect with meeting needs of those close to their age, whose families are struggling for basics. What an excellent introduction for 3 and 4 year olds in being “sent”!
-Sarah Tinan, EC Director