Inspire Academy holds February food drive

Published 8:00 am Friday, January 19, 2024

The Inspire 2 Serve Food Pantry needs restocking. To fulfill the needs of the LaFayette community, the food pantry is hosting another food drive to restock its stores. 

The food drive, called Inspired by Love Food Drive, will run from Jan. 15 to Feb. 14, in time for Valentine’s Day. 

The food pantry was created to teach the academy’s students while addressing food insecurity within the community. The students in the hospitality/tourism program students helped to set up the pantry; cleaned, did inventory, and followed safety protocols learned in class. For this drive, Troy Kelley, principal of Inspire Academy, hopes to get two more of the Career Tech programs involved in the process. 

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The last food drive, The Iron Bowl Food Drive, in November brought in enough to last through the holiday season. The drive brought in around 600 items, which feed 11 families consisting of 50 people in total. 

The school was able to donate 11 boxes of food to families in the Chambers County School District, to supplement meals over the winter break. However, now they only have enough for one emergency box, should a family need it.

The Inspired by Love Drive aims to supplement meals for the President’s Day weekend in February, as well as restock the pantry.  

Last time around, families in possible need of food were identified by counselors and staff throughout the school system. 

During the Christmas season and the Inspired by Love Drive, the school has partnered with the mission outreach team from LaFayette’s First Baptist Church to find families primarily in the western part of the county that may need supplemental food. Through the partnership, the identified families are able to remain anonymous. 

Kelly said the idea to start the food pantry came from CCSD Superintendent Casey Chambley after the school system saw food insecurity, particularly within LaFayette.

“There just wasn’t a physical food pantry or facility on this end of the county,” Kelly said. 

Drop-off for donations can be given  at any of the schools in the CCSD, including Inspire Academy. Non-perishable foods and canned goods are recommended. Outside of the food drives the school puts on, donations can always be dropped off at Inspire Academy.

“As we grow, hopefully at some point we’ll get some refrigeration or freezing options for long-term storage for perishable items,” Kelly said. “Our goal long-term is to have some regular community support where people just make regular donations that would help supplement between food drives.”