The Student News Site of Lakewood High School

Spartan News Network

The Student News Site of Lakewood High School

Spartan News Network

The Student News Site of Lakewood High School

Spartan News Network

Exploring Lakewood High’s Food Bank: How Lakewood High’s Food Bank Began

Food is integral to maintaining one’s wellbeing. This is especially true for teenagers, which have higher nutritional needs due to their growing bodies.
Marquia Bush
Two students pose for a photo in the pantry.

For many kids, buying healthy food is harder for them, whether it’s because it’s hard to find anywhere they live, it’s out of their budget, or they simply just want another route to get access to healthy food.

Lakewood High School’s Food Bank, ran by social worker Erika Dickerson, is the school’s solution to solving this problem. Since the bank partnered with John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in 2017, the food bank has been providing food to kids and their families at Lakewood High ever since.

The bank began in 2017 and got its start in delivering 10 Thanksgiving meals to Lakewood families. “We started very small,” Dickerson said.

Meanwhile, health teacher Erika Miller and her students were participating with Feeding Tampa Bay at various food bank locations at different local communities at the time. When they made connections with Feeding Tampa Bay and Lakewood High, it kicked off the funding of the pantry.

To Dickerson, the students were an essential foundation of the food bank. “It was our students and they saw the need that the community had through volunteering in the community with Miss Miller and the Feeding Tampa Bay distributions,”

“When we started six years ago, it was very tiny in this little closet in one of the testing rooms,”

“And then over the years its grown,” Dickerson said. In more recent years, the bank would usually see around 50 students a week. Even bus drivers sometimes visit the pantry on occasion!

Since the start, the bank still has ties with John Hopkins, but no longer uses Feeding Tampa Bay. The bank switched to St. Pete Free Clinic around last school year. They have also partnered with the Dillinger foundation, so the bank can also give away hygiene products.

“It’s there for our whole Lakewood Family,” Dickerson said.

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