South High Food Bank

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South High Food Bank

Miki Rosenberg, Journalist

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I started at South High School this year, I quickly learned about the food bank here at South and I wanted to learn more about how it started and how it works. So, I decided to talk to Jaclyn Yelich, the founder.

Jaclyn Yelich is a well known name around the South High School community. This, of course is due to the fact that she started one of the most beneficial and inspiring establishments. The Denver South High School food bank is one of the main sources of food for at least 100 kids a week.  

Jaclyn first got the inspiration to start the food bank when her daughter was a freshman at South. Jaclyn was part of the PTSA, and learned that many kids don’t have access to the food they need on a weekly basis. After hearing this, the PTSA started donating King Soopers cards to give out to kids who needed them. This led to the idea of a food bank. The food bank started out as a small pantry with non perishable items and only 25 kids. As the food bank grew, they were able to get a fridge and a freezer which let them provide fresh fruits and vegetables.  “Each year we started adding lots and fruits and vegetables and meats.” Three years ago, they moved the food bank into room 142 to have more space.

When I asked Jaclyn how they are able to have a budget to be able get all this food, she told me about an organization called We Don’t Waste.  We Don’t Waste rescues food from grocery stores, and every Thursday they deliver perishables to the food bank.  She also told me about Food For Thought, their original sponsor, who provide around 2,000  pounds of food each week. Each Wednesday three volunteers drive over to pick up the food and bring it to south where ROTC students help unload it and get it to room 142. These two organizations provide about 65% of the food that is provided at the food bank, the rest of it is donations from people in the South community.

The food bank would not be able to happen without all the volunteers that help out: “There is no shortage of volunteers!”  Volunteers have to sign up and Jaclyn will contact them if she has a day open for them to help. Students that are in Senate also help out by organizing the pantry and what is given out.

When I asked Jaclyn about her future plans for the food bank she said “there’s always things to change!” one of the main things she wants to do is add one night in the evenings for kids and their families to come because not everyone can make it on Thursdays or they need more food throughout the week.

This food bank is such an amazing opportunity for people who are not able to get the food they need and it is so great to hear about all the people around the community that help to make this event run so smoothly.