JCPS elementary school feeding families in need year-round

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Tiny, public libraries are popping up around the area. Instead of books, a local elementary school is taking this idea a step further and feeding those in need. 

The still of summer many times means a quiet lunch room and empty kitchen. "It gets really hard to go on the days with out anything to eat or drink," says Alisa Ali, fifth grader.

Students at Camp Taylor Elementary have been asking for donations for their new Community Cafe. "Some people, they helped us if we need it and it's a time to give back to them if they needed it, too," says Halle Hill, fifth grader.

"The idea originated from me reading a newspaper article about the Shepherdsville food pantry and so then I brought it to my plant manager, Mr. Robert Whiteman," says Becca Haynes, Assistant Principal for Camp Taylor Elementary.

It took some brainstorming, about eight hours of wood work and a few grocery trips. "If one person eats out of that, we've accomplished a mission," Robert Whiteman said.

The Community Cafe is located on school property and surrounded by the Camp Zachary Taylor Neighborhood. It's been restocked several times every week since it was built last month.

"One of the key components of the food pantry was that it would be in a mixed income neighborhood and for our students and community especially to be able to provide that key community service component," Haynes said.

The cafe will stay unlocked, open to those who need any type of non-perishable food or hygiene product. It's also always taking donations. "My role is to bring food for the community because it's really fun to help other people. So, I usually just bring food and put it in there," Ali said.

JCPS hopes it will be the first of many Community Cafes across the district, using this one as its model.

"It has been a wonderful experience for our students and we're looking forward to, since it has just been in the last month of school, really kicking it off for next school year," Haynes said.

The outside learning lesson is also helping the recent graduates leave their mark on their school and neighborhood. 

The Community Cafe is always taking donations. There's need to call ahead of time. It's located at 446 Belmar Drive in Louisville.

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