EAST students setting up a food pantry at Arkansas High School in Texarkana

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 6:37 PM CST
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TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) — Some students at Arkansas High School in Texarkana are about to embark on a service project they say will benefit the entire community.

They are part of the EAST Initiative. The statewide program’s mission is to provide an environment that fosters relevant, individualized, life-changing experiences through service and technology.

“We are very excited. This is a game changer for Arkansas High and our EAST program,” facilitator Carla Phares said.

“We have received $30,000 to have a food pantry here at Arkansas High School.”

Students have worked the past year trying to get the food pantry up and running. It’s a project the students pushed for, Phares said.

“It gives us the opportunity to help low-income families that need something they don’t feel they can ask for,” EAST student Lilly Martin said.

“It is not only benefitting our kids, but it is also benefitting our community as we are like not only providing for the student but the family,” said Justin Davis, another EAST student.

The food pantry will be located inside the EAST classroom on the Texarkana Arkansas High School campus.

“It is helping people in need that aren’t too forward about speaking up about it,” EAST student India Simms said.

When it’s opened, officials said, they hope to send a box of food home every Friday to students in need.

“Yes, there is a need. Our children are hungry. And if you can’t come to school being fed, then it is hard for them to focus and study and get the things they need from school,” Phares said.