School districts throughout Eastern Iowa realizing the importance of food pantries

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NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (KCRG) - School districts in Eastern Iowa are realizing the importance of getting their students a good meal. There are food pantries at districts in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Marion and the list keeps growing.

Liberty High School has only been around since 2017, but they realized right away the need for a food pantry. They opened it last year, and it's been going to good use.

The school collects food from students, staff, and parents, as well as items like hygiene products. It's all kept in a room that some students help organize.

Everything is available to all students. Staff open the pantry for them, then they can grab what they want.

Students say it's important to help out their peers.

"We always talk in our clubs about community outreach and trying to get in touch with our community and help them, and that's amazing and we should be doing that, but we also need to focus on our own school,” said Kate Randall, a senior at Liberty High School. “We realized because there are a lot of people who don't know who are struggling that are at our school that do need access to resources like these."

"The need looks so different in each building,” added Rick Spear, Student Family Advocate at Liberty. “In this building, because North Liberty has some transportation issues that don't exist at some of the other area schools, we thought it was important to have a satellite pantry here.”

Liberty High is partnering with Hy-Vee in Coralville on Cross Park Road for a food drive. It will run from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. The food will help students get a meal when they can't access the pantry during the holidays when school is out.

The way it will work is that shoppers will get a list of items to purchase and they will donate them on their way out.