Senior High opens food pantry onsite for students

Fort Dodge Senior High now has a food pantry onsite for students in need.

According to, one in eight Iowans are food insecure. One in five children do not have enough to eat.

Katie Degner, a senior at FDSH, is working to make a difference in these numbers at the high school.

“One of the students last year started the work on this project, but didn’t get it completed,” Degner said. “I thought it was an important project that could help families at the school, so I wanted to see the project through and get the food pantry started.”

As part of a project-based learning assignment, Degner secured a partnership with the Food Bank of Iowa to start a food pantry at FDSH. Through the partnership, the Food Bank of Iowa provides the food free of charge and delivers it to the school.

Degner said they have canned fruits and vegetables, cereal, potatoes, pasta, rice, juice, applesauce, peanut butter and beans available for students. They also have a limited supply of personal hygiene products to offer.

The food pantry is open to students from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in Room 50 at the high school. Students may also make an appointment if these times do not work for them.

“The convenience of having the food pantry right at the school after school should be helpful to students,” Degner said. “It’s easier for the kids because they don’t have to worry about transportation or the hours not fitting their schedules.”

Students wishing to receive food can find the paperwork in the high school office or through their school counselor. The forms are also available at the food pantry. All information is confidential. Students with questions can contact Degner at or Jennifer Lyman, FDSH instructor, at

“Having the food pantry available is a huge step for FDSH,” Degner said. “Everyone needs help at some point in their life and I’m happy to be a part of providing that help to our students’ families.”