Ball Ground ES STEM Academy Expands Food Pantry to Meet Additional Needs
From left: Annette Homiller- Volunteer; Mark Vance-Creekview HS Assistant Principal; Tricia Stowers-Volunteer (retired BGSA teacher); Kathy and Jim Maher-Financial Donors; Melinda Roulier, Principal; Lauren Roach, Assistant Principal; Steve Kasha-SERV International; Amanda Bridgewater, counselor; Taylor Pratt-Calvary Baptist Church
Ball Ground ES STEM Academy held a ribbon cutting this week for its expanded and enhanced food pantry, complete with a new name: Ball Ground Cares Closet. The pantry was given a makeover with the help of volunteers, donors and the food pantry at its feeder high school, Creekview HS.
Additional shelves were installed, special hooks for backpacks were added to the walls, more supplies of clothing and hygiene items were added-- all organized and stocked to serve families in need. Canned and dry goods, as well as snacks for students who are in need, line the shelves in the workroom, and plastic bins of clothing are stacked neatly against the back wall. Hygiene items are also organized for families who need assistance.
"We are so honored to have so much support for our school food pantry and weekend backpack program," said Principal Melinda Roulier. "The donations of time, food, or funding from so many generous people and organizations for our newly-named Ball Ground Care Closet are such a blessing to our school community."
The school held a ribbon cutting and thank you event March 21 for the volunteers and organizations that assisted in the expansion and enhancement. Ms. Roulier recognized Steve Westbrook for his assistance installing the shelving and hooks; Kathy and Jim Maher for funding the project; Steve Kasha with SERV International for their supplies and regular donations; volunteer Tricia Stowers for her work assembling the backpacks that go home on Fridays with two days worth of food and supplies; Calvary Baptist Church for their donation of snacks and food; volunteer Annette Homiller for her time spent sorting and organizing donations; and Creekview HS for its overflow donations from its own pantry.
Creekview HS Assistant Principal Mark Vance, center, presents Ball Ground Cares Closet with a donation from the Creekview HS food pantry. Both schools are in the same Innovation Zone and serve some of the same families. Mr. Vance helped open the Creekview food pantry in January of 2021.
"We continue to receive donations of both cash and food," said Vance. "Given that we were so blessed from our cash donations, we wanted to help share and help kick start their food pantry."