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Pay It Forward: Shelley High School Food Pantry

Shelley High School Food Pantry
Todd Kunz
Shelley Shares is the Shelly High School Food Pantry available 24/7 outside the school for students in need or those who left the house unprepared for the school day.

SHELLEY, Idaho (KXPI) - Lockers at any high school are a common sight. But we found a pair of lockers at Shelley High School that are unique for a very good reason. We wanted to show what's inside and Pay It Forward.

"It's been a real asset to everyone," said Teresa Dye. She has been a teacher and advisor at Shelley High School for more than 12 years. One of the things she oversees at the school is the food pantry.

It was started about five years ago when another woman attended a basketball game in the Boise area and saw a high school food pantry there and brought the idea back to Shelley.

"So she came and brought it and donated the locker and started us off with a little bit of food and we've just taken it over from there," said Dye.

When you think about a food pantry, you think of those in need, but this pantry goes beyond that.

"But sometimes, it's just that teenager that's not prepared and they're at school for 12 hours and they need something to eat," said Dye.

Maybe the student was in a hurry that morning and forgot their lunch, and have play practice, or sports, or other activities after school that puts them there until evening.

"And that fills a need that normally we couldn't fill," said Dye.

They just finished a food drive involving grades K-thru-8 and the kindergarteners won the contest. They also team up with the Heart 2 Hand Bingham Food Pantry, and the people throughout the community support it and make donations.

"The preparation for the food bank happens back here," said Dye, taking Eyewitness News anchor Todd Kunz into an adjoining room to the classroom.

"And you have the students help out as far as sorting and stacking?" asked Kunz, as they look at stacks of boxes filled with canned goods.

"Exactly, I have a class called the Natural Helpers and I've been the advisor for that for about 12 years. And basically, it's a college course that I teach them leadership skills. Besides this type of thing, we do blood drives, we're in charge of assemblies, we do red ribbon stuff. So during that class period, we organize all the food and they help process it all," said Dye.

And it all ends up in two metal lockers outside so the food is accessible to everyone at all times.

Kunz then sends a secret text message to Kory Carling waiting outside for a big surprise because it's time to Pay It Forward.

Here he comes, walking into the empty classroom.

"Mrs. Dye, how are you?" said Carling, as he interrupted the interview.

"I'm good. How are you?" replied Dye.

"Good. I'm Kory (Carling) with Mountain America Credit Union. And we've heard what you're doing for the students here at Shelley High School."

"Uh huh."

"And we are here to Pay It Forward," continued Carling.

"Awesome," said Dye.

"So I'm here on behalf of Mountain America Credit Union and I've brought with me $500 in cash," said Carling, pulling cash from an envelope.

"Wow!" said Dye.

"That I know you can use to continue to better the lives of Shelley High School students and provide food for those that need it," said Carling.

"Yah," said Dye.

"And on behalf of Mountain America Credit Union, we'd like to Pay It Forward. So thank you," said Carling, handing over the cash.

"Thank you so much. This will be a great help," said Dye.

"You bet," said Carling.

"We so appreciate it," said Dye.

"Awesome," replied Carling.

There are also toiletries and personal hygiene items in the bottom of the locker. Mrs. Dye tells Kunz that those things are often overlooked as a high school necessity.

Donations can be made by stopping by the front office at Shelley High School. Mention this story and ask for Mrs. Dye.

"Pay It Forward" airs the second Wednesday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "News" then "Pay It Forward" under the menu stack at the top left of our homepage. Fill out the submission form, or send an email to Eyewitness News 3 anchor Todd Kunz at todd.kunz@news3now.com.

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Todd Kunz

Todd is an anchor for KIDK Eyewitness News 3, Local News 8 and Fox 5.

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