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SROs, State Farm agent partner to fill food gap

SROs, State Farm agent partner to fill food gap
SROs, State Farm agent partner to fill food gap
School Resource Officer Ray Saylor loads donated jars of peanut butter and jelly for distribution to students in need from Michele Reichel’s State Farm Insurance in Corydon. Reichel has partnered with SROs by donating the vacant half of her building as a pantry.
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

Schools throughout Harrison and Crawford counties have been providing meals for the students during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, some students don’t have transportation or a means to pick up the food at the designated spots. Because of this, Ray Saylor, the school resource officer at Crawford County Middle School, decided to do what he could to help those students.

Saylor began transporting the meals to the homes of kids who couldn’t get to the school to pick them up. As this went on, he began to notice many families were struggling at this time to provide food for their families due to layoffs from work or being tight on money for other reasons. Apart from the meals the schools were providing, Saylor recognized more needed to be done.

He took to Facebook to share a post asking for donations of food items for a large family. The community responded and began to reach out to Saylor with donations. One of those people was Michele Reichel, a State Farm Insurance agent in Corydon. She immediately wanted to help with donations and even believed there was more to be done.

“After seeing Ray’s post on Facebook, the wheels just started turning for me on what more I could do,” Reichel said. “I knew needing help with food wasn’t just a problem for this family, but so many more. I decided to reach out to Ray and offer part of my office to function as a food pantry, where he and other SROs would be able to have donations dropped off to be sorted through for families.”

Since Reichel offered this partnership to Saylor, the duo have been reaching out via Facebook posts to the community to let people know what items are needed. Saylor said the most essential items needed are milk, non-perishable items, personal hygiene items and anything that can’t go bad over a period of time.

“No child anywhere should go hungry,” Saylor said. “As an SRO, you build a relationship with these kids, and I can’t sit by and know they are suffering at home and not do anything to help out. Places and businesses are starting to open up again, but things won’t be back to normal for a while. Coming together and helping out these families is just something we should do if we are able.”

Saylor has reached out to the SROs in Harrison County to let them know of the partnership with Reichel. He hopes to find a similar site in Crawford County to make it more convenient for storing and distributing donations there.

To donate items to the pantry, call Reichel at her State Farm office at 812-738-3120 Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or Saylor at 812-596-1587. Anyone who knows of schoolchildren in need of additional food shoud call Saylor.