School district helps food pantry prepare in case government shuts down again

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CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County schools are teaming up with a Fulton food pantry for a food and fund drive competition. It's called "CAN" Your Classroom.

SERVE Inc. asked the schools to help donate to a "very critical food drive," ahead of another potential government shutdown. 

"Not only will we see an increase in potential snap benefit recipients, but also in government employees," said executive director Courtney Harrison. "They may not recieve their March benefits."

This is the biggest food drive that SERVE Inc. has had and Harrison said she believes it will really help the pantry fill its shelves. 

"We've been kind of low here in the past month or so," she said. "I want to make sure the kiddos understand and that they are able to give back to their classmates." 

Harrison said about 40 percent of the recipients at SERVE Inc. are school-aged children. It has about 60-100 recipients a day stop by SERVE Inc. 

North Callaway, Fulton, South Callaway and New Bloomfield schools are participating through Feb. 22.

High school English teacher Megan Klukowski said Callaway County is really good at coming together to help those in need.

"If we were to say we need certain canned goods, or meals for families, within 24 hours I would have half my classroom full of stuff," she said.

Klukowski said she's noticed there is a direct correlation between educational achievement and hunger.

"We realized it was a problem that we could actually affect and actually change," she said. "Students became very empowered through that process, and, when students are empowered, I believe they can change the world." 

The classroom in each school that collects the most pounds of food per student will win a box of classroom supplies, according to the food drive flyer. Every $1 raised is equivalent to ten pounds of food that will be donated in Callaway County.