The Last Word: Brother Bill’s Blane Rogers on the Impact of a Food Pantry at the West Dallas STEM School

“It can be utilized for financial literacy, to learn about service, inventory, supply and demand, ordering, planning, and even careers associated with a grocery or a general store.”

Blane Rogers
West Dallas STEM School Site Director
Brother Bill’s Helping Hand
.…on a collaboration to create a food pantry and “learning garden” at the West Dallas STEM School, via the Dallas Morning News.

Here's "who said what" in Dallas Innovates Every Day.Dallas ISD, Toyota, and SMU are partnering with the nonprofit Brother Bill’s Helping Hand on a food pantry and “learning garden” at the West Dallas STEM School. The effort aims to achieve more than offering healthy food options to students and the local community, Rogers says.

Blane Rogers

“We want the staff to be able to use the space for hands-on experiences that they may not be able to accomplish in their classrooms,” Rogers told the DMN. “We found a site that will give students the greatest opportunity to learn, as well as have the attributes needed to make it successful for years to come.”

The food pantry is slated to open in the next few months. But students are already learning from the aptly named learning garden, the DMN says—gaining insights about germination, composting, the impact of the climate on plants’ growth, and more, with local experts sharing food production tips and know-how.

In December, school volunteers and partners from SMU, the Toyota USA Foundation, and the West Dallas community planted 30 fruit trees at the STEM School’s learning garden, Grow North Texas, the Dallas affiliate of the Giving Grove, a national nonprofit serving communities experiencing food insecurity, provided the trees and oversaw the planting process.

When the trees mature, the orchard is expected to produce more than 20,000 servings of apples, pears, peaches, figs and paw paws each year, SMU said. 

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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