A project to help resolve hunger in their community resulted in a decision by a class that students build a food pantry for peers in their school.
The realization that hunger affected student families at school made the students at Lyman Moore Middle School decide to make sure that none of their peers go hungry. Last year, the seventh graders learned about the effects of global poverty and food insecurity. They developed an action plan for a food drive for a local resource center. But this year they decided to create a food pantry of their own to help local families from the school area.
They canvassed the neighborhood collecting canned and dry goods. Money was also collected to purchase food. Students raised over $1000 and collected over 1,000 food items.
Then, the food was turned into the school, where principal Stephen Rogers says it will be discretely and confidentially distributed to students and families. An "honor system" will regulate distribution. He indicated that the community within the school has a pretty solid idea about who needs help. If someone indicates they want food, we’re not going to ask them whether they have the resources to get food or not,” Rogers said.
Rogers says that food will likely be sent home with students on Friday afternoons, so they will have something for the weekend. Students will be able to access the pantry through guidance counselors and social workers. There are several food services for students, such as breakfast and reduced cost lunch. Students wanted to do more.
“They said, ‘We know there’s kids that go home either at night or over the weekend and they don’t get enough to eat, so how do we fill that gap?’ So that was their goal in this,” he said. “So they’ll put packages together that will be discretely distributed as needed.”