MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Pantry Plus More is continuing their mission to feed Monongalia County.
Pantry Plus More, much like many other charitable organizations, are rounding up their resources so those less fortunate in North Central West Virginia can have a better holiday. Pantry Plus More founder Roark Sizemore, a Morgantown native, said they take a unique approach.
“We find a place in the school, ages from Kindergarten all the way to 12th grade and we keep food, clothing, school supplies, and personal hygiene products,” Sizemore said on WAJR’s Morgantown AM. “And kids can come anytime they want, as often as they want and take as much as they want,” he said.
Currently in its second year in operation, Pantry Plus More was started by Sizemore with the help of Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom as a high school senior mentorship project. With the help of former WVU student government member Madison Thompson and a $3,000 grant, the program was put into action. Originally in only two schools, it has since tripled in size and Sizemore says the goal was about bringing the opportunity to children who are less fortunate.
“Our whole program is meeting them where they are,” he said. “So for kids, putting pantries in the schools, it’s a place that they have to be, where they can also get some help with getting the things they need.”
According to their website, approximately 25 to 30 percent of the children attending schools participating in Pantry Plus More end up utilizing their respective pantries. In keeping up with demand, Pantry Plus More has teamed up with the Mountaineer Mobile Food Pantry to bring up to 15,000 pounds of food to a different district in Monongalia County each month. These donations allow students to anonymously gather what they need for the amount of time needed.
“You schedule out what you need for the month,” he said. “And so, kids can go back everyday, they can get as much as they want and as little as they want, so it really makes things flexible and easy for like a really at risk population to help themselves.”
Even though the holidays is a very common time to donate to various organizations, much like others, Pantry Plus More accepts volunteers and donations at any time. Those wishing to donate can do so through various avenues and Sizemore suggests that, if you are looking to donate, to think like a kid.
“So we’re always looking for donations but keep in mind that it’s really kid geared,” he said. “So think about some of the things that you would maybe get for your own kids, maybe some of the things that you ate for lunch, whatever that maybe.”
Anyone seeking more information can find some on the Pantry Plus More’s official website pantryplusmore.org or on their offical Facebook page.