New food pantry at NPHS

High school can be hard, but it can be even harder when you don’t have any food to eat. Student Services Coordinator Brandy Buscher is taking a stab at alleviating that.

Since winter break, nine homeless North Platte High School students have received food and toiletries from the new NPHS food pantry. “Everybody we’ve served, I’ve sought out,” Buscher said.
The food pantry was an idea that started between staff. “At the elementary levels, we have The Backpack Program, where kids who are living in poverty receive a big bag of food every Friday to take home for the weekend,” she said. Because of this, Buscher was inspired to start a food pantry right here at NPHS. Together with Buffalo Elementary School counselor Jodi Leisy, the food pantry has become a reality.

One night a week, Buscher stays after school for students so they can come in and grab what they need. They fill a backpack provided by Buscher with things they need. When they come back the next week, they return their bag and fill up a new one. Buscher keeps track of what they take for inventory, but she doesn’t regulate it. “If they want to take all ramen, cool,” she said.

Along with the receiving food and toiletries, Leadership Lincoln County recently donated a washer and dryer to the school. For students in bad situations, laundry can be a challenge. It’s expensive and time consuming. With this donation, a student can set up a time before school with Buscher to do laundry and Buscher will change it, all for free.

If you’re interested in receiving things from this pantry, Buscher says to tell a trusted adult or her at the school. “I understand if someone who doesn’t know me doesn’t want to come directly to me. Go to a teacher you have a relationship with and share your situation and they’ll come to me,” she said.
The pantry is driven by charity. “I didn’t get a grant or funding, it’s all donations,” Buscher said. If you want to help out bring: ramen noodles, macaroni and cheese, Pop-Tarts, fruit cups, granola bars, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and toilet paper. “I don’t want to be scared that we won’t have enough food for the kids,” she said.