Food pantry opens first Oklahoma City Public School location in the Village

THE VILLAGE, Okla. - There are several Pine Pantries around Oklahoma City, and the idea is basically leave what you can and take what you need.

On Wednesday, a reason to celebrate at Andrew Johnson elementary after being the first OKC school to get a Pine Pantry.

"It's so simple. You simply walk up to the pantry and put items in, and if you have a need you just take them out. It's open 24/7. It's not manned by anybody. It's very low barrier,” Cristelli said.

There are now six around Oklahoma City metro, from south Oklahoma City to Edmond.  They accept nonperishable food items and toiletries.

"Ready to eat foods are always really good. Granola bars, SpaghettiOs. Anything someone can use right away,” she said.

Aley Cristelli got a call from the principal at Andrew Johnson who saw their original Plaza District location.

"I think right now with the government shutdown and the SNAP program is at risk and people might not be getting their checks this next month so I think it's more important,” Cathy Cummings, The Village Vice Mayor said.

The need in Oklahoma City Public school is astounding with around 3,000 kids who identify themselves as homeless, according to Dr. Teri Bell who sees the impact first hand.

"They could be homeless. They could be in a shelter. They could be couchsurfing, so it's a pretty broad category,” Executive Director of OKCPS Student Support Services Dr. Teri Bell said.

It's why she believes the community lending a helping hand is the solution.

"You know I think it takes community partners like this to step in and take care of our kids and our families,” Dr. Bell said.

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