PACE — Amy Day is a single mother of two that is on a mission to build little food pantries for every school in the county.
She originally wanted to put the pantries on school property, but was denied the request by the school board due to liability issues, she said.
"My son attends the Bagdad Elementary School and I talked to Mrs. Tiphanie Sapp, the assistant principle, about it and she said yes to the plan," said Day.
Unfortunately, when Sapp presented her idea to the school board it was denied because of liability reasons. Sapp was not available for comment.
That has not deterred the single mother from trying to put a pantry at each school.
Day said what drives her is her experience living with little to no food for her children after she divorced her husband four years ago.
"I found myself with two small children, I had to work and parent," Day said. "I wasn't making it, but I was too proud and ashamed to ask for help."
Day's idea to build a pantry is modeled after the Little Free Library you see in certain neighborhoods. There you can take a book or leave a book.
"I thought what a great idea to do that with food," Day said.
A couple of years went by and she saw a little food pantry located at Alyssa's Antique Depot and it looks just like the Little Free Libraries. Day spoke with Alyssa's and found out that the antique depot let a group of Boy Scouts build the pantry as a requirement to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
Day said she spent those two years stocking the pantry with non-perishable foods. Her plan is to build similar pantries and then have the community manage the pantry in their area.
"I wanted to build the pantries on the school grounds, mainly for the kids," she said. "There's a stigma associated with asking for food or help.
"You can't be a success in life if your basic needs are not met," Day added.
Day has asked the Bagdad Assembly Of God Church if she could use a 2 foot by 2 foot spot to put her first pantry up. The church will make a decision at their next board meeting. If the church approves, Day said she could has the pantry built and in place in 30 to 60 days.
Until then, Day is looking people who own property near other schools who are willing to donate small spaces so she can install her food pantries. Her second priority is to find a non-profit that will join with her to help her reach her goal.
Day said residents could help by:
Donating a 2-by-2 foot piece of land near a school to put the pantry on
Holding a food drive
Leaving food in a pantry
For more information, contact Day at 850-529-1092.