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Intern Stories: Partner Agency Spotlights

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Felix's Pantry Coordinators Amy Werner and Kellie Pearson

According to a report in 2022, from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it was found that 44.2 million people lived in households that had a difficult time getting enough food to feed everyone. From those families, more than 13 million children were experiencing food insecurity. 

After noticing such a prominent issue, members of the Logansport Community School Corporation partnered with the United Way and Food Finders to help serve these students and their families. 

“Felix’s Pantry is a client-choice food pantry,” Coordinator Amy Werner said. “The pantry began weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in February 2020. It started as a small area at LHS that served LHS students and their families who might be experiencing some food insecurity.”

Werner then partnered with Kellie Pearson to expand the idea of Felix’s Pantry.

“Our eyes were opened during the pandemic when we started providing drive through pantries,” Pearson said. “Amy and I started having conversations with each other about combining our forces and expanding Felix’s Pantry. We met with Mrs. Starkey, The United Way, and Food Finders and they all agreed with our vision. Felix’s Pantry is amazing because there are so many people/agencies that make it possible. It just proves what an amazing community we live in.”

After receiving more funding, the pantry was able to help even more students throughout the district. 

“In January 2021 the pantry was provided with COVID relief money and we were able to provide a drive-thru pantry at various schools throughout the district,” Werner said. “In August 2021 when things had become safer after the pandemic, the pantry grew to serve more families by providing food bags for LHS and LJHS students to take home weekly and providing open hours for families once per month.”

 

Jason Pearson Volunteering at Felix's Pantry
Jason Pearson volunteering at Felix's Pantry

 

After continuing this model for a year, the pantry expanded even more.

“In August 2023 we combined it with the Logansport Backpack program and moved the pantry to the pantry at the Academy at LCSC-410 W. Miami,” Werner said. “In this space and with more funding we were able to expand our food offerings and hours. Now we can have open hours once per week and serve all of the families of LCSC.”

When the BackPack Program was created the food insecurity that families faced were less.

“At the time, the BackPack program provided a supplemental breakfast, snack and small meal for the weekends since the students didn’t have breakfast/lunch at school,” Pearson said. “The program served its purpose during that time of need. However, as the many years of that program passed, we started to notice that the BackPacks didn’t seem to be helping those who needed it the most.”

Combining the backpack program with Felix’s Pantry gave families in the community more options.

“Families are now able to choose the foods that they need for their households versus having a set menu of items that were sent home weekly,” Werner said. “Families are also able to get meat, produce, and milk from the pantry and those perishable items we were not able to offer with the backpack program.”

Werner adds that without the help from United Way, this program would not be successful. 

“We are a partner agency with the United Way,” Werner said. “Their funding is 90% of how we can purchase food to give out to our families.”

In the past few months, there has been a substantial amount of families in the community benefiting from the pantry. 

“Last semester we served over 333 families,” Werner said. “That is 1422 individuals. [To sign up] a family just needs to show up to our open hours and we will get them registered. Then they can visit our pantry weekly. If there is an immediate need for food or a food emergency, they can contact their building principal or they can reach out directly to Kellie or I.”


Story by: Kylee Langley, Logansport High School Senior & United Way of Cass County Intern

Photos by: Felix's Pantry