NORWAY — In January 2015, representatives from the Rowe School, the Norway Town Office/General Assistance program, the Oxford Hills Food Pantry, Healthy Oxford Hills and the Good Shepherd Food Bank got together to discuss creating a school-based food pantry for the Rowe School kids.

The Good Shepherd Food Bank had targeted Norway as being particularly needing of this program, based on economic data and the number of children in poverty who meet the criteria free or reduced meals at school, and Rowe School nurse Heidi Darling has had many experiences encountering hunger in the kids at school.

“Simply put, I see school aged children suffering the effects of hunger every day, even if their families are receiving some type of assistance,” Darling said. “They often tell me about missed meals in the evenings and on weekends.”

A fiscal sponsor has been established and this school year, for the first time ever, Rowe School students will have access to a food pantry in the school, where they can get healthy, easy-to-prepare foods and snacks to eat at school or to take home.