ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Being able to afford food during the coronavirus pandemic can be a difficult task for some families.

This week’s A+ Teacher, Shana August, is not just filling stomachs but also hearts.

August runs the Dixie Hollins High School food pantry.

She leads a team of volunteers that hands out meals

“We knew the call was coming to close the schools,” August said.  “But it was very sad. It is very sad.”

As a longtime teacher at the school, it’s sad not to see the kids she loves. It’s also sad because of the large food need at Dixie Hollins, a Title One school.

 “I had a car that says they are feeding two households,” August said while manning the car line for food last week.

With help from feeding Tampa Bay and John Hopkins’ All Children’s Hospital, the school has kept its food pantry open.

“We keep in touch with the kids, so we know that there is a need,” August said.

 “We know that a lot of kids right now, even some who don’t normally use the pantry have friends or relatives, or their family is now in need. Because their family has lost their jobs, or there has been a crisis, or transition or something like that.”

Every other week, families can come to the school and get fresh, and free, food.

“I appreciate it,” August said of being honored. “I am very lucky to work with a whole group of people who care about the kids, and the community as much as I do. That is all we do.”