Vineland Public Schools partnered with Sodexo Food Service, Inspira Medical Group, and the Community Food Bank of South Jersey to bring an innovative in-school food pantry to Sabater Elementary School and Dallago Preschool. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this morning to kick off the official opening of the pantry. In attendance were Dr. Mary Gruccio, Superintendent of Vineland Public Schools; John DiAngelo, President and CEO of Inspira Health; Dr. Danielle Sneathen, Assistant Superintendent; Purvesh Patel, Director of Food Service; Jeff DuBois, principal of Sabater School; Melissa Hannigan-Painter, principal of Dallago School; head chef Mark Daino; and various members of Inspiral Health.
The new food bank will allow parents to drop off their children for school, and pick up food items discretely and without stigma. The program is an offshoot of the food giveaways held at the Landis Administration Building monthly. Working alongside school counselors, 100 families were selected to receive a box filled with healthy items that can be prepared at home. Volunteers put together the items at the end of the day Monday to distribute to parents as they picked their children up. The hope is that the program will spread to the rest of the district’s schools in the future.