Zeina Zein has a real passion for helping others.
She had worked with a local food bank and saw the faces of hungry people. Zein decided to start her own organization, Mobile School Pantry. It is based in Hollywood.
Zein and other volunteers, many of whom are part of her family, receive fruits and vegetables from Farmshare in Homestead and canned food and other food items from donors, some of whom provide financial support.
The Mobile School Pantry has been visiting Stirling Elementary School for the past year once a month and providing food to families who are facing financial struggles. In December, Mobile Food Pantry visited Orange Brook Elementary School and distributed food there.
The program is open to children and families at Stirling Elementary School and Orange Brook Elementary School. To receive food, families must have at least one child in the school. Students receive a letter stating, “Mobile School Pantry is a free program that provides perishable and non-perishable nutritious foods for students and families in-need. Please carefully consider your family’s economic situation and determine if this program is something you need. If you are able to do without this assistance, please allow this program to be used by others.”
People who come to the food pantry can select any food item they want off of tables. The food pantry at Orange Brook Elementary School included very attractive vegetables, fruits, snack items and other food products.
“We have been feeding 20 to 30 families a month at Stirling Elementary School and by coming to Orange Brook Elementary School, we can help more families,” said Zein. “I do this because I love to help others. We should all do more to help one another.”
Zein knows that many families are facing hard times because of low paying jobs or no jobs. She hopes the free food will help struggling parents have money available to provide their children a nice Christmas. She also wants to make sure that all children have enough to eat and is concerned that many children are food insecure. “If a child is hungry, he or she can’t focus on school work. It is important that no child is hungry,” said Zein.
Her brother Steve Zein volunteers with Mobile School Pantry. “I want to give back to the community. Many people don’t earn enough money to buy eggs, bread or milk,” said Zein.
Zaida Prendes, the principal of Orange Brook Elementary School said she is impressed by the work Zein is doing in the community. “This food pantry is helping families. She is helping by bringing fresh vegetables, fruit and other food items,” said Prendes. “Many families are struggling to make ends meet.”
Mobile School Pantry is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization and depends on community support.