The Sky Valley Youth Coalition is working on a project to install food pantries in Sultan’s middle and high schools that would provide weekend meals for students receiving free or reduced lunches.

Space has been secured at Sultan High School, and a space for the middle school is still being secured, said Youth Coalition coordinator Ruth Shapovalov.

The Sky Valley Youth Coalition is a service of the Volunteers of America-Western Washington, and the food pantries are a project for the national Lead2Feed Student Leadership Program.

SVYC plans to have more food drives ahead of the opening of the pantries, and will hold a chili cook-off fundraiser 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 19, at the VOA A Frame building, 617 First St., in Sultan. The cost will be $5 per person, except for children under 12 and seniors over 64, who will pay $4. Shapovalov said students will provide entertainment, as well as a DJ with 107.7 The End.

“There’s about 1,000 kids in the Sky Valley that don’t know if they’re going to have food through the weekend,” Shapovalov said about the need for the food pantries, adding they will also help a number of youth in the coalition. “I had kids text me on a Saturday afternoon and ask me if I can take them to the grocery store to get things so they can make a sandwich.”

People who can’t make the chili cook-off can also help the Sky Valley Youth Coalition with its project through food or monetary donations.