MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The Berg Jones Lane Elementary School in Monroe held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new resource center.

Berg Jones is the first school in the district to announce a new resource & parent center to assist students and their families with basic home and educational needs.

“The needs here were a lot greater. This is definitely a community that has established low-income households and students that are in great need of necessities. So, I definitely feel like these resources would really help a lot in these households,” Dr. Melissa Toney, founder of Serving With A Purpose said.

Serving With A Purpose, also known as S.W.A.P., is a partnership with Monroe City Schools to help students and families access much-needed basic needs such as food and resources in their community.

“The resource center is our space that was created to walk alongside educators to provide intangible and tangible needs for students and their families,” Toney explained.

The resource center provides everything from food, clothes, feminine care, baby items, school supplies, and more. Monroe City Schools superintendent Brent Vidrine, says the goal is to expand this program throughout Monroe City Schools.

“You know, them coming to Monroe really helps us out. It’s going to be very successful, I believe. We are looking to expand next. Let’s say Carver, Madison Foster; it’s a feeding pattern. Right now, Burg Jones is a feeding pattern, MLK and Wossman. Carver is a feeding pattern. Carroll Junior and Carroll High School, Madison Foster is a feeding pattern. Neville Junior and Neville High School. So, we are touching all the families as we go along,” Vidrine said.

The S.W.A.P. Resource and Parent Center is free to students and their families. Burg Jones Elementary School principal LaShondra Allen says parents should call and fill out a form ahead of time.

“A lot of times people don’t have access to stores, or things going on in families. And with this center being here, they can come with the households needs and clothes. Sometimes it’s cold, and they may not have a coat. So, we have coats here, and they can come and get a coat.”

The resource center also plans to implement social and mental health services in the near future.