SPRINGFIELD, Ore. (KMTR) -- A school-based food bank in Springfield has returned for the year with hopes of helping more by expanding its reach.
The Guy Lee Elementary Mobile Food Pantry opened up for its first day of service this school year on Saturday, September 15, 2012, helping dozens of struggling families put some meals on the table.
The pantry is in its second year and has become a staple for many Springfield families. Saturday, more than 50 needy families collected hundreds of pounds of food at the school.
The Springfield Elks Club is part of the effort behind it. For years, volunteers with the club have raised money for the Springfield Public Schools "Resource Center,” a program also associated with the “Brattain House,” which helps needy families.
Joyce Foster and her fellow Elks wanted to help more people though, so they launched the school-based food pantry as a pilot project. Volunteers raised a little more than 1000 dollars to do it and it became a huge success.
Now there's enough money and support from Food for Lane County to keep it open for more months and expand.
"It feels good to work with the people and see the volunteers from the Elks Club who are participating and feeling good and seeing what they're work and their donations actually do in the community,” said Joyce Foster, a volunteer with the Springfield Elks Club.
“Just the appreciation for the people that turn out to make a difference and that really is positive and feels good,” says Foster.
Next month, the pantry will also open at Hamlin Middle School. It also has plans to open up on the third Saturday of each month through the end of the school year. Each family takes home about 20 to 50 pounds of food per visit.