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6th Marin County Grocery Pantry Opens

May 6, 2009
Pantry line

The Food Bank opened our sixth Healthy Children’s pantry in Marin County this morning! Our brand new grocery pantry is at Hamilton Meadow Park Elementary School, in Novato.

More than 60 families participated in today’s distribution, and in the coming weeks we anticipate the number to increase at a steady pace. Families received onions, potatoes, mushrooms, pasta, turkey chubs (pre-packaged ground turkey), yams, cucumbers, oranges, turnips, chocolate milk and pre-bagged lettuce.
The distribution took place in their auditorium, and all tables were provided and set up the night before by the parents and administrators. The groceries and produce were laid out on tables “farmers market-style” with signs indicating the amount of each item the families could take.
Hamilton Meadow Park Elementary School is located in the southern section of Novato, on the old Hamilton Air force base site, and is the stepping stone into the whole Hamilton community. There are 508 students enrolled, and nearly half – 241 students – come from families with incomes so low, they are eligible for free or reduced-cost lunch. This statistic alone allowed us to determine that Hamilton would be a perfect fit to the expansion of our Healthy Children’s Pantry program in Marin County. 
Thanks to all the wonderful organizations on campus, such as the PTA (Parent Teacher Association), ELAC (English Learner Advisory Council) and SLC (Site Leadership Council) for assisting in the outreach efforts to inform, assist, and prepare the families at Hamilton for the initial distribution.
A special thanks to all the folks in the warehouse for all their hard work in making this possible. We tend to forget that
without the folks in the warehouse collecting and organizing all the food that comes into the food bank, much of our efforts and work would never come to fruition.
Thanks to the Food Bank Program Coordinator Roberto C. Gonzalez for this report!