The Business Technology Early College High School (BTECH) and supermarket chain Stop & Shop held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 8, unveiling the school’s new food pantry that will serve over 530 ninth to 14th grade students.
The pantry is being supported by a $5,000 gift card donation from Stop & Shop that will enable the school to purchase the specific food items and other essential products that the students and their families need.
Brittney Russell, parent and family engagement coordinator at the school, said BTECH is a school that cultivates love and support for the student community that they serve.
“Everyday we are fortunate to welcome our students who travel across the entire borough of Queens to a home away from home with only an education but also a second family, ensuring that they are taken care of with basic essential needs that may not be accessible to them,” Russell said. “At BTECH we have families who are low-income and also living in shelters. This pantry will help us provide food and additional personal care items for our families. Stop & Shop has brought our community a holiday miracle and we are so appreciative of our partnership with them.”
The Stop & Shop School Food Pantry Program was established to help limit barriers impacting students’ ability to succeed in the classroom by making sure that they have consistent access to food. Stop & Shop supports local schools’ existing food pantries or helps them establish a new one by providing gift card donations to help stock their shelves.
Stefani Shuman, community relations manager at Stop & Shop, said the supermarket chain is dedicated to fighting hunger in communities.
“This in-school pantry will ensure students at BTECH will have access to the food and supplies they need. Students cannot learn when they are hungry, and we are proud to support the school in ensuring students are fueled for success,” Shuman said.
BTECH is an innovative, public high school that provides an opportunity for students to earn a high school diploma, an associate’s degree in applied science in computer information systems or internet information technology, and gain relevant work experience in the business technology field.
The school was developed through a partnership between SAP, the New York City Department of Education, Queensborough Community College and the Early College Initiative at the City University of New York (CUNY).
BTECH is Stop & Shop’s fourth school food pantry in Queens. The others are located in Corona, Ozone Park and Far Rockaway.
For more information about Stop & Shop’s School Food Pantry program, visit stopandshop.com/pages/school-food-pantry-program.