The Hastings High food pantry will be open through the summer to help provide greater food security for Hastings High students.

The food pantry was started about a year ago as a way to help senior high students to have enough food and hygiene products for evening meals, breakfasts and weekends — basically any time they’re not able to get food at school.

Over the summer, the pantry will be open every Wednesday from 1-2 p.m. Students who need assistance can come in once a week to get a bag of food and/or hygiene products.

“We decided to open in the summer because we still see a need in our student body that we can serve in between school years,” said co-organizer Katie Funkey.

Sixty percent of Hastings Public Schools students qualify for free or reduced lunches, meaning that there is a significant number of students and families with food insecurities and that includes students at the high school.

There is a backpack program at the elementary level that gives kids food to take home for the weekend. However, there was no program at the high school.

The food pantry was started as a way to help provide high school students with additional food they don’t receive otherwise.

The pantry will be open an hour each week for incoming freshmen through seniors. Incoming freshmen are encouraged to also partake as long as they bring a student ID.

Anyone interested in donating to the program can send financial donations to Hastings Public Schools Foundation and designate it to the Food Pantry.

Food and hygiene donations can be dropped off at the high school during office hours, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Hygiene donation suggestions include hand soap, shampoo and conditioner, body wash, band aids, deodorant, mouthwash, toilet paper, acne face wash, laundry soap, dish soap and disinfecting wipes.

For food, recommendations include nonperishable items like pasta, pasta sauce with meat, canned chicken or tuna, granola or breakfast bars, canned fruit or fruit cups and macaroni and cheese.

For more information, call 402-461-7550 or visit Hastings High Food Pantry on Facebook or hhstigers.com/home/hhs-food-pantry.

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