Associate Principal Kelly Daniels played
a large role in getting the pantry off the ground.
“And this side of the room is the part
that a lot of people don’t realize our kids need. There’s a story of a little
girl who had shoes on and the sole of her shoes came off. It took five baby
wipes to clean her feet up because she had been wearing those shoes for so long
and it was all she had to wear and she was afraid to ask anyone for help,”
According to Daniels, the Knights Food
and Clothing Pantry is the first and only pantry just for students and their
families. Cabell Midland had to acquire special permission from the Department
of Agriculture allowing that the pantry be closed to the general public.
pantry will also service feeder schools in the county such as Barboursville
Middle, Milton Middle and the Career and Technical Center.
In special situations they can also help those at schools like Huntington High
the other high school in the county. In fact, their first customer was a
Huntington High student.
“They don’t have a multitude of
t-shirts. They don’t have, not only do they not have the 'miss me' jeans that are
the rage; they don’t even have a good pair of blue jeans, so we have all kinds
of clothes in here that’s been donated to us by a lot of different people. We
even have prom dresses for the girls whose parents aren’t going to have the
money for prom,” Daniels said.
The pantry is operated through a
partnership with the Huntington Area Food Bank and the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. Daniels says last year they started to see students get in trouble
for stealing food during lunch. It turned out that the students were trying to
provide for siblings.
“They’re not stealing food. They’re
trying to take care of themselves and their younger brothers and sisters because
when they go home there is nothing for them to eat, so they might take an extra
sandwich or two if it’s left available to them and as school systems around the
state, we’re trying to figure out what do we do to help with that because the
last thing you want them labeled as is a thief because they’re really not,”
David Tackett is the principal at the school.
He said the need for such a program has become obvious to many over the past
“They wanted to see improvements in the
school that related to student behavior, the curriculum and some social aspects
and this was one of the concerns that came forward is that teachers were
reporting to the administration that they have had students come to them with
this need,” Tackett said.
Teachers and counselors are trained to
look for clues that might let the administration know if students need help. In
that event, administrators can try to help student without making them
“Often at times we find out that a
student has nutritional need because sometimes they get in trouble. They have
to go home for the rest of the day. A lot of times they always want to get
their lunch before they go out the door. That’s a good indicator. Other times
students will come forward and say I don’t want to miss lunch because I’m not
going to get anything tonight,” Tackett said.
Kelly Daniels said often times students
“It’s exciting for us to be able to
provide this service for the kids. Right now we’re working through, a lot of
them are ashamed and embarrassed that they’re in this predicament and it’s not
their fault so they don’t want their peers and friends to know what’s going on,”
School started Monday at Cabell Midland