Students and other volunteers will distribute free, non-perishable food items to families with students in Tuscaloosa City Schools Friday morning, a system spokesperson said Thursday afternoon.

In a press release promoting the event, TCS mental health coordinator Tesney Davis said the mobile food pantry will be on-site at the New Heights Community Resource Center from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. Friday to distribute boxes of food to those in need.

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The community center is located at 3834 21st Street in west Tuscaloosa, in the former home of Stillman Heights Elementary School, which closed in 2006.

The school system recently announced the closed school would be transformed into the New Heights center, which will continue to house the STARS Academy, an alternative school for students in the system who have committed severe "Class III" violations of the Student Code of Conduct.

The center will also house at least five area nonprofits working with school officials to better serve TCS students and the Tuscaloosa community at large.

On Friday, STARS students and other volunteers will distribute boxes of food to families with students in the TCS system.

"New Heights Community Resource Center and STARS Academy students are excited to partner with Tuscaloosa's One Place and West Alabama Food Bank for a free Mobile Food Pantry," Davis said. "We know food insecurity is an issue for many people and we are working together to eliminate the barrier of hunger for our students, families, and the surrounding community. Our STARS students are excited to give back to the community through this event."

Anyone seeking more information about the event is encouraged to call 205-759-3629.

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