School Pantry Program

Oscar (10) receives free lunch at school

School Pantry Programs help alleviate child hunger in America by distributing food to children and their families. School Food Pantries provide a more readily accessible source of food assistance to low-income students and their families. By working with community partners, food banks and school administrators set up on-site food pantries, that are convenient for students and their families to access throughout the school year and during school breaks. By locating pantries inside or near schools, students and their families have easier access to food assistance and feel more comfortable in accessing this assistance. 

The School Pantry Program generally distributes fresh fruit and vegetables, easy to open shelf-stable items, a combination of grains, and sometimes protein items such as frozen meats. Schools may also provide a market-style produce distribution of which may operate after school, during weekends, and/or during out-of-school times such as Summer.

In addition to receiving food items through the School Pantry Program, children and their families may also receive recipe cards, on-site cooking demonstrations led by community partners, along with other additional resources the food bank and/or school may provide.   

Does your local Feeding America food bank operate a school pantry?

Use the Food Bank Locator to contact your local food bank and find out if they partner with local schools.