School opens its own food pantry to feed those in the 38109 ZIP code

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A Shelby County alternative school unveiled a special room that will help the hungry on Thursday.

It's in the old ROTC building at George Washington Carver College and Career Academy.

"The only meals some of our students get are breakfast from us and also lunch. Besides that, a lot of our students aren't eating at home," said Principal Dr. James Suggs.

The pantry will feed students and their families at the 14 schools in the 38109 ZIP code in southwest Memphis, as well as anyone else in the neighborhood in need.

It will be run by students in Project STAND. It's an intervention program for kids who've been in the juvenile justice system to prepare them for a career or college.

"We want also not only give back as service, but teach our kids job ready skills which includes inventory management, customer service and warehousing," said Tarol Clements, the Project STAND manager.

Building Blocks mentoring program will help oversee the pantry.

The Mid-South Food Bank is thrilled about the new pantry.

"We have a refrigerator here and a freezer, so they will be able to receive retail meat we receive in donations. They will also have canned goods with high nutrition level. This isn't just ramen and snacks," said Lakeisha Edwards with the Mid-South Food Bank.

About 51,000 children in Shelby County face hunger. The pantry is expected to reach hundreds of them.

The pantry will be open the second and fourth Wednesday of every month.