LOCAL NEWS

West Jordan Teacher Runs Food Pantry in Her Classroom

Dec 16, 2018, 10:43 PM | Updated: Dec 22, 2018, 6:17 pm

WEST JORDAN, Utah — There aren’t many teachers who do it for the money, or because it’s easy.

For Krista Gibbons, the only reason she spends her days pacing back and forth in front of a classroom of students at West Jordan Middle School is because she wants to make a difference.

“I love teaching, and it just came pretty easily, pretty naturally for me,” she said. “In middle school, they’re so tender, and they’re so trying to figure out who they are, and if you show they can succeed in anything, then it just continues like a snowball.”

Gibbons started her career here six years ago, after a stint student teaching. Since then, she’s come to call these halls “home.”

“I fell in love with the culture of our school, which is all about the kids, and helping each other,” she said. “Education’s a part of it, but it’s the whole person.”

But as much as she focuses on getting through to each child, sometimes there are obstacles. Sometimes, there are reasons certain kids aren’t paying attention.

“I talked to a student who was in just a really grumpy mood, and I was trying to be like ‘Why are we so grumpy?” Gibbons said. “He told me ‘You know, I got out of my tent,’ which immediately triggered to my teacher brain, ‘Oh no, like this poor baby’s homeless.'”

That student said he’d missed breakfast at the shelter that morning, so Gibbons did what she could.

“I gave him what little granola I had, which were my little snack storage,” she said.

But the problem was bigger than she thought. She spent the next four years bringing food for kids who would often go without when they’d leave school.

“I did all the pricing, and said, ‘Then this is how much I have to save each paycheck to make sure I can go buy,'” Gibbons said. “I don’t need to go to the movies on the weekend. I can take that fund, and I can buy something for them.”

But now, part of her classroom has transformed. She raises money for food, through a charity she calls “Gib’s Kids.”

What used to be a closet for supplies in the corner of her classroom is now an in-school food pantry. Right next to it is a file cabinet stocked with snacks and meals — open to anyone, no questions asked.

“I have lunches in the back, all my Lunchables were taken today,” Gibbons said, while rifling through the drawer. “If they need a lunch, they just come and grab it, and I have a microwave and they just heat it up.”

Gibbons says she has a regular group of hungry visitors, totaling about 30-40 each day.

Some are just looking for something to take with them to eat that night.

Her charity’s done well enough that she’s been able to expand.

“It kind of just used to be centered here,” she said, gesturing to her closet. “But since Gib’s Kids has helped raise so much money, there are pantries throughout our school.”

To some kids, the small gesture of having a place to grab some food has had a big impact.

“I’ve had a lot of students who’ve been using my pantry come back from graduating high school,” Gibbons said. “They’ve reached their potential, because they realized, ‘Hey, there’s people out there who care.'”

For Gibbons, it’s not just about handing out food, and it’s certainly not about the money. It’s about making a difference, by letting kids know someone cares.

“When a teacher says ‘I love you, I care about you, how can I help you?’ it’s not just them talking,” she said.

If you’d like to help, you can donate to the Jordan Education Foundation, and specify you’d like the money to go to Gib’s Kids.  Gibbons also has a Facebook page , keeping track of her fundraisers.

 

 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

The SafeUT app provides real-time crisis intervention for people in immediate distress. (KSL TV)...
Debbie Worthen

Designed to keep students safe, SafeUT app sees big increase in activity

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah students are reporting more tips related to violence, more total tips and using the app designed to keep them safe more too. KSL TV obtained new data by the app to see how many tips and chats are logged each month, and under what categories. And, while the numbers are […]
23 hours ago
Kalie Jones and Nick Hulse were allowed to bring their children home from foster care after a judge...
Daniella Rivera

Drug tests deemed ‘not sufficiently reliable’ in one child welfare case are commonly used in Utah

A Utah judge ruled that a certain type of drug test was “not sufficiently reliable" in a couple’s legal effort to be reunified with their children, but Utah’s child welfare agency isn’t signaling any plans to stop using the tests it’s relied on increasingly over the last two years.  
23 hours ago
A crash at the intersection of Lone Tree and Cropper Lane outside Delta, Utah, Oct. 1, 2022. (Court...
Michael Locklear

Rival high schools show their support for Utah teen killed in car crash

A father who recently lost his daughter in a car crash wants to express his gratitude. He’s touched that several rival high schools across central Utah put aside their differences to honor Oakley Shiner, 17.
23 hours ago
Outgoing Granite School District Superintendent Martin W. Bates speaks during a school board meetin...
Larry D. Curtis

SLC school board names interim superintendent

The Salt Lake City School District has a new interim superintendent after the previous leader resigned after approximately one year in the position. The city's board of education said Tuesday evening it is looking to hire a new superintendent while Dr. Martin W. Bates works in the interim role.
23 hours ago
It may take months before some residents get their power restored after Hurricane Ian. (KSL TV)...
Mike Anderson

Homeowners in Florida face unsure future after Ian

The town of Fort Meyers Beach in Florida is unrecognizable after Hurricane Ian tore through the area. It’s now considered to be one of the 25 worst hurricanes to ever hit the US.
23 hours ago
Orem High School...
Becky Bruce and Jessica Lowell, KSL Radio

Orem, Alpine School District split debate centers on whose math you believe

A growing debate over whether to split the city of Orem from the Alpine School District centers on a disagreement over math.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
West Jordan Teacher Runs Food Pantry in Her Classroom