Lubbock Cooper's Laura Bush Middle School Organizes "Pirate Pantry" to Help Students In Need

LUBBOCK, TX -  Lubbock is considered a "high needs" community, where thousands of families struggle to get enough food on the table. Throughout the school districts there have been efforts to combat the hunger and make sure students get enough to eat throughout the week.

Lubbock Cooper's Laura Bush Middle School has organized their first "pirate pantry", which is accessible to students at all times. It's a large closet full of clothes, various snacks and dinner items, shoes, toiletries and even school supplies.

Mother, Shea Politte has kids of her own at Laura Bush, she said when she initially heard about plans for the pirate pantry she knew she wanted to help organize it. 

"I really had no idea that the need was so great until we started coming up here and they would just take everything we would give them and my eyes were wide open," Politte said. "It made me realize that there's kids that are asking for help but there's also kids that aren't asking."

Principal Edna Parr said as an educator it's important to build relationships with your students and recognize what their individual needs are.

"I can't stress it enough how important it is to build positive relationships with students," Parr said. "Feed them or give them a snack in class if you can, they can't learn if they're hungry and they can't learn if there's issues at home."

On Friday afternoons, local churches prepare sacks of food for the school to give to the students. For Spring Break and other holidays, teachers and parents prepare food boxes for the students as well to help keep them full while they're away from school.

"Meals that they can make on their own, they love ramen and mac n cheese," Politte said. "Just something simple that they can use for nourishment to get through the break when they are used to having a couple meals a day at school."

The school district hopes to extend this effort to their other schools, and encourage other school districts to get on board as well. 

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