Wildcats’ Den on-campus food pantry opens

Published 1:59 pm Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Tyrrell school officials and Food Lion representatives on Dec. 13 opened the Wildcats’ Den Food Pantry on the Columbia High-Middle School campus.

“Our local Food Lion, in collaboration with the Tyrrell County Schools CTE Department, has created a campus student food pantry for students in need of food throughout the school year,” explained Shelia Cumiskey, director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) for Tyrrell County Schools.

Nerissa Johnson, local Food Lion manager and Manager of the Year for the 1,029-store chain, approached the school with the idea of an onsite pantry as a way to give back to her community, Cumiskey stated.

David Garris, Food Lion’s director of operations, and Johnson met with a group of Columbia Middle School students to discuss the need for a pantry, how best to organize this resource, and what things they think students would like to see in a food pantry. After a few months of planning, the pantry has been stocked and is ready to serve students.

Attending the Dec. 13 ribbon cutting in the Vocational Building were Johnson, Garris, Columbia Mayor James Cahoon (whose office was in the same room when he was a school administrator), Columbia Middle School Principal Dr. Michael Yancey, and Columbia High School Principal William Ziegler, and representatives of the Tyrrell County Schools CTE Department.

The Wildcat’s Den will be run by a group of middle school students and CTE staff.  These students include Kiyla Burton Bailey, Carrie Penwell, Lillian Williams, Saige Roughton, Isyis Marner, Coral McQuigg and Alice Gomez.