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"Today is your opportunity to build the tomorrow you want."  Ken Poirot

About Us

Pantry Partners, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization dedicated to fighting childhood chronic hunger and teen homelessness.

Our mission is to support the holistic development of underserved teens by offering free supplemental food, resources, and comprehensive

wrap-around services.

These vital resources are essential for thriving in uncertain circumstances,

such as chronic hunger, poverty, homelessness,

or personal and family crisis.

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Our Purpose

At Pantry Partners, we're dedicated to nurturing the holistic development of high school teens living at or below the poverty level. Our mission revolves around offering economic relief through our free supplemental food and resource programs. We understand the many challenges and transitions that teens face during their high school journey, which is why we prioritize discretion to safeguard the dignity and privacy of every teen we serve.

Our organization emerged in direct response to the increasing number of at-risk teens who often slip through the cracks at school or find themselves grappling with overwhelming challenges. Many of these young individuals lose hope in the face of chronic hunger, poverty, and other hardships that permeate their daily lives. Pantry Partners aims to identify these vulnerable teens and provide them with the support they need to navigate high school successfully, reducing the risks that could derail their futures.

While the specific needs of each teen may vary, our commitment to empowering our teen community remains steadfast. We strive to invest in innovative approaches that cater to their unique circumstances and deliver support precisely when they need it. Through our comprehensive support services and collaborative partnerships within the community, we have the potential to effect meaningful, positive change. By equipping underserved teens with resources and assistance, we ensure they are better equipped to overcome obstacles and seize opportunities for success.

Many of the teens we serve rely on our programs to stay in school and pursue their educational goals. Recognizing the scarcity of services and resources available to food-insecure and crisis-affected high school teens, we have developed the following impactful programs to address their needs:

Pantry Partners Program

We nourish both bodies and minds through our monthly food program, which supports teens referred by high school counselors. We establish collaborative partnerships with local high schools, where teens are identified and referred to our food program. Additionally, teens have the option to self-refer. Through this initiative, we offer free "teen-friendly" supplemental food that can be accessed daily. Each month, we meticulously pack and distribute food boxes for approximately 90-100 teens, ensuring they have enough food for weekends and holiday breaks. Moreover, we include hygiene kits and new socks as needed, prioritizing the overall well-being of the teens we serve.

Back to School Program  

We equip teens for success by providing essential school supplies, backpacks, new shoes, and school clothes as needed. We collaborate with school staff to identify additional teen students who may benefit from our support. Once connected with students, we fulfill specific school supplies requests, such as graphing calculators, compasses, protractors, and art supplies.  Additionally, we restore dignity and confidence by purchasing new shoes for teens. Worn-out or ill-fitting shoes are often visible signs of poverty, and providing proper-fitting new shoes can make a significant difference in their lives—one pair at a time.

Gather Together Program

We ensure that teens and their families enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving meal by providing them with food boxes filled with all the necessary items to prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Each food box includes specialty items for desserts, a 5lb bag of potatoes, and a gift card to help cover the cost of a turkey. This initiative allows families to come together and celebrate the holiday with a delicious and fulfilling meal.

Merry & Bright Program 

We make the holiday season Merry & Bright for our most vulnerable teens by fulfilling their gift wish lists. This initiative aims to alleviate the stress experienced by many teens and their families during the holidays. Through this program, we connect teens with anonymous gift wish sponsors who generously purchase items from their wish lists. For many of these teens, the gifts they receive are the only ones under their tree, making this program especially meaningful. The outpouring of support from sponsors brings tremendous hope and joy to the lives of our struggling teens, ensuring they feel thought of and valued during the holiday season.

Adopt A Senior Program 

We empower graduating seniors by covering all their graduation expenses and needs as they embark on their post-high school journey. Senior year of high school brings many additional expenses that financially disadvantaged teens often struggle to afford. Through this program, we ensure that our graduating teens have a memorable and successful senior year, believing that all seniors deserve to be celebrated regardless of their circumstances. Upon graduation, each teen receives a gift bag and assorted gift cards. For those continuing their education, we secure anonymous sponsors who generously donate dorm room supplies, bedding, and contribute matching funds for new laptops, easing their transition into higher education.

The Beacon Café

The Beacon is more than just a free Wi-Fi café; it's a dedicated space tailored to the needs of the teens we serve, offering them a welcoming and safe space to study and socialize. Situated within our Pantry Partners, Inc. location, The Beacon provides access to complimentary food, supplies, tutoring, and resources during lunch and after school hours, three days a week. Our vision is to expand its operation to five days a week and host special weekend events as funding permits, ensuring that teens have a supportive hub where they can thrive academically and socially.

Pantry Partners, Inc. is passionate about eradicating chronic hunger and homelessness among our youth. By alleviating food insecurities, we enable students to prioritize their education and extracurricular activities, while also enhancing their overall physical and mental well-being. Our team at Pantry Partners forms personal connections with the teens we serve, witnessing firsthand the transformative impact of our programs. Beyond meeting their basic needs, we foster a commitment to young people that creates strong interpersonal skills and reasserts a sense of hope in their future. 

Our services are available to high school students eligible for free and reduced lunches or experiencing food insecurity. Hundreds of teens have benefited from our programs throughout a school year. We aspire to expand our reach further with increased funding, ensuring that every teen in Norman facing chronic hunger and hardships has access to our support. We firmly believe that investing in our teens is an investment in our collective future.

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