Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Nebo School District’s Dragon Pantry serves community

Helping Hands

Landmark High School, with the help of Nebo School District Student Services has been running a community pantry to help people in need since 2013.

This being the eighth year, Nebo School District social worker Monica Hullinger, who runs the pantry, said that now, more than ever, they are in need of items to be donated. “Covid really set us back,” Hullinger said.

“It wasn’t that people weren’t able to donate things, it was more that it was hard to accept donations during a global health crisis. The need has still been there, and we want to be able to provide for those who have a need, and currently there are a lot.”

In fact, Hullinger noted that just last year there were 1,100 homeless students in the Nebo School District alone.

She spoke about the backpack program that serves hundreds of students, as well as the free lunch program that is currently being offered to all students in the district. And while federal funding has been a help for these programs, the avail-able resources are just not there.

The pantry alone helps to feed, clothe and provide basic necessities like toiletries and sanitary items to children and families who qualify.

Items are donated to Dragon Pantry by the community and sorted by students of Landmark High School for those in need.

That being said, Hullinger was quick to shift her perspective to one of gratitude for the students at Landmark High School who spend a lot of time helping to keep the pantry organized and fill orders for those in need.

“There is no way that we would be able to do all that we do without the students at Landmark High School,” Hullinger said. “The items are donated by locals, and then lovingly sorted by students who are the cream of the crop.”

Landmark High School is an alter-native high school, and, according to Hullinger, these students often get a bad wrap that they don’t deserve.

“These kids are here because for whatever reason, traditional high school wasn’t fitting their needs,” she said.

“Landmark, in my view, is the treasure chest of Nebo School District, and I feel so blessed to be able to work with these kids.”

Hullinger talked about what it takes to run a community pantry, and how neat it is to have students so willing to help others in need.

“It has been so neat to watch the students here serve others,” she said. “There are several students who are also recipients of some of the items through district programs, and having them help at the pantry gives them a sense of ownership where they feel like they are working for something that they need. They are all so grateful and willing to help when asked.”

Going into the holiday season, Hullinger said that there are several items that are needed.

“We are always in need of toiletries for girls and deodorant,” she said.

“Shoes are always welcome, as are coats and hoodies for older kids. Underwear for older boys and girls is an item asked for a lot.

Hullinger expressed her gratitude for all those who donate to the pantry, and said that all donations are welcome.

For more information on how
to donate or help contact Monica Hullinger, Hollie Johnson, or Ben Gasser at monica.hullinger@nebo. edu, hollie.johnson@nebo.edu, ben. gasser@nebo.edu, or call 801-798- 4030 for additional information. All donations made to the Dragon Pantry/Nebo’s Cupboard are used to help students and families in Nebo School District. (Brown is a Serve Daily contributor.)

Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown is a mom of nine who writes columns for many local and national publications. She currently resides in Payson, and enjoys looking for good happenings in her area and sharing them for others to read about. For more of her stories, search "A Mother's Write" on Facebook.
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