FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2017
Contact: Srijan Chakraborty
Phone: 206-538-6567 (Office)
Hunger Intervention Program to partner with Nathan Hale High School to Install Student-Run Weekend Food Pantry
Seattle, WA – Hunger Intervention Program (HIP) is partnering with Nathan Hale High School to provide weekend food support for high school students who are experiencing food insecurity with the first distribution scheduled for Friday, February 10, 2017. This innovative offshoot of HIP’s Healthy HIP Packs program will provide emergency food support for the weekend to students when school meals are not available. This program will be primarily student run, with support from HIP Staff, and give students the autonomy to choose from a variety of nutritious meals they most need or want.
Nathan Hale High School has 345 students who qualify for Free and Reduced Price Lunch, according to reports from the 2015-2016 school-year. While Hunger Intervention Program, University District Food Bank, and other backpack programs service the surrounding elementary and middle schools that feed into Nathan Hale, there is currently no official food support available to students at Hale. “This new pantry will make sure the students at Hale have the necessary food support they need during the weekend to succeed in their studies. For us, it is a matter of equity that everyone has a chance to realize their full potential.” noted Srijan Chakraborty, Executive Director of HIP.
Students spearheaded the pantry as their Hale Action Project, with the hope to “help others get the most out of their school experience. Helping coordinate the pantry has made me even more aware of the ways we can help each other succeed,” explained Hale Senior Helen Koenig. Students will manage the inventory and organization of the pantry, giving them opportunities to support their peers and engage in volunteerism while maintaining client confidentiality. Students have also worked with the Hale Foundation to cover the costs of implementing a food program for their peers.
Tina Tudor, the pantry coordinator and Hale class of 2017 advisor, sees students regularly who experience hunger throughout the week. “We are so excited for the pantry because it is an organized, systematic approach to an issue that we have dealt with for quite some time. There has been overwhelming support among students and staff alike and we are excited to work with our community partners,” explained Tudor.
In Washington State, one in five children lives in a food insecure household. It is our collective responsibility to make sure our children get nutritious food and all the opportunities to succeed, not only because they are the future of this country, but also because that’s the right thing to do. HIP is excited about this new partnership with Nathan Hale High School to improve food security for students and families in the north Seattle community.
About Hunger Intervention Program:
The Hunger Intervention Program (HIP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit with the mission to increase food security for underserved populations in North King County through nutritious meals, educational programs, and advocacy. Current HIP programs include Healthy HIP Packs, twice a week Senior Congregate Meals, Afterschool Meals, Cooking Matters classes, and Summer Meals for Kids. For more information, visit our website at www.hungerintervention.org.
About Nathan Hale High School:
Nathan Hale is a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools and provides personalization in education in a rigorous inclusive environment through mentorship and grade specific programming. Hale’s mission is to ensure that all students will become honorable, thinking, skillful citizens. For more information, visit www.halehs.seattleschools.org.