The Pacer Pantry may have a new program coordinator, but its mission to provide food to local families remains unchanged.
Carrie Hunt, who joined the district this spring as the program coordinator of the Family Resource Center, which runs the Pacer Pantry, said she’s excited to start helping the community.
Hunt, a licensed social worker, lives in Delaware County with her family.
“I’ve worked in social services since 2005 at agencies ranging from law enforcement, probation, community mental health and transitional housing,” Hunt said. “Being a part of someone’s journey, no matter for how long, is truly a gift and one that I strive to do no harm with.”
Hunt said she came into contact with the district when she began working as the mental health clinician for Strengthening Families and the WILL program, which are both based at Willis Education Center.
“I haven’t ever wanted to leave,” Hunt said. “I absolutely love the students and families that have been brought into my life through Willis, which is why I jumped at an opportunity to become the Family Resource Center coordinator.”
Hunt said her favorite thing about the position is the cooperation between the district and local organizations.
“The collaboration that occurs within the district and within organizations in the county is one of the key factors that I sought out Delaware City Schools,” Hunt said. “If my families’ had a need, there was at least one person within this building or the district that I could quickly contact to start problem-solving and get the barrier addressed. Superintendent (Heidi) Kegley and Delaware City Schools understood that families have non-academic barriers — things don’t always fit neatly into a box and accessing systems can sometimes be difficult and overwhelming. By having such a collaborative environment at Willis, I’m able to reduce some of those barriers and hopefully connect people with resources, even if they aren’t located under the DCS umbrella.”
Kegley said she’s excited to have Hunt join the district and oversee the Pacer Pantry.
“Pacer Pantry and the other support services provided by the Family Resource Center are invaluable to our families,” Kegley said. “Carrie will be a great asset to our district. She is already connected to many of our families, and she has a true heart for helping others. We feel fortunate to have her join our team.”
The Pacer Pantry is located at Willis Education Center and provides nonperishable food and household necessities for families experiencing food insecurity. Visitors do not need to provide any kind of documentation in order to be eligible.
Hunt said the pantry is available year-round and now open as a choice pantry, meaning that families can now select the items they’d like versus curbside boxes being developed ahead of time. Individuals can call 740-833-1619 anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, to make an appointment for services at the Family Resource Center.
Walk-ins are welcome Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Friday from 1 to 4 p.m.
Hunt said masks are no longer required but unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear a mask, and individuals feeling ill are encouraged to stay home.
Pacer Pantry is run almost solely on donations, Hunt added, and organizations or individuals that would like to contribute to the pantry can contact her directly by callling 740-833-1619.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.