An MHS Food Bank with an Intention
Across the United States, 1 in 6 children may not know where they will get their next meal. At Milton Hershey School, we are thankful to be able to provide our students with nutritious meals each day. However, many of our students’ families struggle with putting a warm meal on their table and when our students travel home on breaks, it can be a tough reality.
“We recognized some students went home and did not have food to get them through the holidays,” said MHS Middle Division Home Life Administrator Karen Brown.
More than 10 years ago, two Middle Division Home Life employees stepped up to establish a schoolwide food bank to donate items to our students’ families. Those longtime dedicated employees have since retired, but their intention to help MHS families lives on as Middle Division Home Life employees Karen Brown and Tracie Teahl lead the efforts.
“We have so much here to provide the students, but when they go home, their families can’t always feed them,” said Karen. “We help as much as we can in giving them a hefty box of food items so they have something to eat with their families at home.”
During the 2016-17 school year, 480 boxes of food were distributed to MHS families.
“When you have students who are coming in asking if their name is still on the list because they know they will worry if they don’t have food when they go home, you know it’s all worth the effort,” Tracie said.
The annual Milton Hershey School Food Bank committee starts organizing as soon as the new school year begins. Planning in advance is the secret to their success.
“The Hersheys gave so much and they taught people the value and worth of giving to others and supporting the kids—doing whatever it takes to help our students and their families,” Karen said.
As the school grows, the need for additional food boxes also is increasing. Here’s what you need to know to help the MHS food bank:
- Review items to donate on the following list.
- Donations can be dropped off at Catherine Hall.
- Place a box in your work area to serve as a reminder and invite your colleagues to shop for items on the list.
- Questions? Contact Karen Brown or Tracie Teahl.
“We make an intention to help MHS students,” Tracie said. “To see the relief on their faces when they know they are going to get a food box to take home over the holidays makes it all worth it.”
Karen and Tracie’s Food Donations Tips
- Discover weekly specials at your local grocery store. Around the holidays, there are many savings on non-perishable items. Be sure to grab a Sunday newspaper to find the best deals.
- Find a deal and make it worthwhile. Local grocery markets will work with you if you find a deal. Many will order the product you found at sale price – especially if they know it is being donated.
- Check expiration dates. Be sure to pay close attention to the dates food will expire so we do not have to get rid of it.
- Don’t worry about how little or large your donation – every little bit counts!
After kicking off the 2018-19 school year with the Opening of School Assembly, Milton Hershey School students and staff are committed to honoring the Hersheys’ legacy and giving back to others by expressing their gratitude, living with intent, committing to their vision, and acting with enthusiasm.