APALACHIN, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The Broome-Tioga BOCES West Learning Center in Apalachin held a ribbon cutting to introduce a new food service to the community.

BOCES West opened a brand-new food pantry in the school that is open to students, staff, and the public.

The school received a $14,000 grant from the Food Bank of the Southern Tier that went toward purchasing two large coolers.

Now, the pantry can provide fresh foods and produce. The pantry will be open to the public once a week on Wednesdays from noon to 2 p.m.

The principal at the West Learning Center, Maria Keesler says that the school’s freshmen Reclaim class and the alternative business classes will assign students to stock and operate the pantry.

Principal at West Learning Center, Maria Keesler says, “They’re learning some really important life skills, work-based learning skills. And they get credit for that towards graduation as well. So, that’s a huge piece of this as well. And any of the students that are working in the food pantry, or any students that is in BOCES can access this food, so they could come in and actually take a bag of food home with them if that’s what they needed to do.”

Families can reach out to the learning center and sign up to receive free food every week.

You will list how many people are in the family, and if transportation is a problem, the food can be delivered to your home.

To schedule a pickup time, find a QR code on the BOCES Facebook page or call 788-0572.