School Partners Weekend Supplemental Food Program
Based out of St. James Presbyterian Church
Partnering with Bear Valley Church, Lakewood
School Partners began in 2014 when it was learned children were arriving on Monday mornings so hungry they were not ready to learn, due to lack of food over the weekend.
Jan Cantrell, a second-grade teacher at Alice Terry Elementary, had a vision and a solution — get food to the families to insure the children had food at home on the weekends. Three women connected with Jan’s vision and “Panda Packs” was born, later called School Partners. What began at Alice Terry Elementary expanded to Ft. Logan Northgate, Sheridan High School and Early Childhood Education in the Sheridan School District. Families in the Littleton School District also benefit from the program.
Currently, 30 families are receiving weekend supplemental food. Families in the program are identified by a teacher, social worker, or any staff member of the Sheridan School District, who has knowledge of a need. The family is contacted by the school liaison and asked if they would like to participate in this program. There is no requirement other than need.
Food is provided through generous donations from St. James Church members, Bear Valley Church members, and our community at large. Every Thursday about $45 worth of groceries and produce are delivered to the families by a team of volunteers including teachers from the schools. We send fresh produce, milk, proteins, (eggs, hamburger, chicken) and low sugar foods, and basic resources for meal preparation.