District helps families in need thanks to volunteers and community donations
WOODLAND — Woodland Public Schools’ Family Community Resource Center offers the Food Pantry Program, a free service offering families-in-need free food and other resources to help make ends meet, thanks to donations of local businesses and organizations along with volunteering community members.
As summer approaches, Leslie Mohlman, the district’s Community, Family, Student Resource coordinator wants people to know that struggling families may be concerned with how to feed their children.
“Although the schools’ Food Pantries will be closed during the summer, the Family Community Resource Center remains open until July 31 Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m,” she said. “Families can come for free food and resources including housing assistance, employment resources, and medical service information.”
In addition to the Food Pantry Program, Woodland Public Schools offers a Summer Meal Program which provides breakfasts and lunches to children ages 2-18 years old for free. “Last year, the Summer Meal Program served 1,449 breakfasts and 2,868 lunches free-of-charge,” said Leslie.
Donations from community members and local organizations make the Food Pantry Program possible. Since the program’s inception in February 2017, students and families have received nearly 5,000 food items and other household necessities. Local organizations and businesses who have donated to the program include the area churches, the Clark County Fire District, Fibre Federal Credit Union, Moose Lodge and the Woodland Action Center.
Recently, members of the Moose Lodge donated $500 to help support the Food Pantry Program. “This single donation will allow the program to provide food and necessities for the remainder of the school year,” said Leslie. “Helping those in need requires assistance from the entire community through donations like these.” Moose Lodge sponsors local events to support and help Woodland children through their Moose Heart Program which offers a safe place for children and families who need housing support.
Woodland Action Center, a community volunteer agency, partnered with Woodland Public Schools shortly after Leslie started working as Woodland Public Schools’ program coordinator. “I saw the need for families to receive help and coordinated the partnership since I used to serve as the action center’s executive director,” she explained. The Woodland Action Center donates food and other household necessities to the Food Pantry Program to offer students and families access to assistance at each of the district’s school campuses.
Woodland community members go above and beyond to help their neighbors and fellow community members. “Senior citizens on fixed incomes and families who are trying really hard but just can’t make ends meet really need our help,” said Julie Clark, Warehouse Coordinator for the Action Center. “There are a lot of people who need our help and I really enjoy doing whatever I can.”
Heidi Butler started volunteering with Woodland Public Schools’ Family Community Resource Center after her son started attending the district’s schools. “I’m so grateful for Woodland’s schools and everything they do,” she said. “I just wanted to give back in any way I can – every community member should because it’s up to us to help those among us in need.”
Community members interested in contributing to the Woodland Public Schools Family Community Resource Center can donate funds, of course, but they can also donate food items and household necessities including juice, protein bars, granola bars, cereal, oatmeal, crackers, tuna, microwaveable meals, fruit snacks, fruit cups, and any other items. “Watching the whole community getting involved in our programs has been a fulfilling experience,” said Leslie. “We are so grateful to our community, our local businesses and organizations, and all those who have been so integral in getting our programs off the ground.”
Resources for students and families in need:
- To learn more about the Woodland Public Schools’ Food Pantry Program and other services offered to families and students in need including childcare, dental services, employment, clothing, housing, legal assistance, medical help, transportation, and more, visit the district’s Family Community Resource Center website at www.woodlandschools.org/fcrc.
- Community members in need can find out more information about the Summer Meal Program from the following website: https://www.nokidhungry.org/what-we-do/summer-meals.
Resources for community members interested in volunteering or donating:
- To find out how you can help Woodland Public Schools’ Family Community Resource Center, visit www.woodlandschools.org/fcrc or contact Leslie Mohlman via email at [email protected]
- More information about the Woodland Action Center can be found on their website www.woodlandaction.org.
Information provided by Woodland Public Schools.