Everyday, we wake up knowing we are going to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Occasionally, we even know what we are going to have for these meals. It is a natural routine we have and do without thinking much about it.
We forget there are people in communities everywhere who are not as fortunate. Many people struggle to find meals that will last their family through the weekend or even through the day. In light of this, Woodstock High School has put together a food pantry to serve its community.
Assistant Principal Nancy Henson started the food pantry in hopes of serving her community and to give others the opportunity to do so, as well. She wanted to highlight the importance of giving to those around us, for “we should care about our community and those within it.”
“It was brought up to me by the school’s social worker, Dr. Tara Quinn-Schuldt, last spring,” Henson said. “They currently have the food pantry at Etowah High School, and she reached out to me and [Mark] Smith [WHS principal] to see if we would be interested in starting one here. Together, we talked about it, and we decided that we would absolutely love to do it!”
WHS is working with Heritage Presbyterian Church to provide food to students with a weekend bags system. The bags will be given discreetly, to “bridge the weekend gap when they do not have free and reduced breakfast and lunch programs offered at school,” Henson said.
With the help of the Atlanta Food Bank, these bags will be put together for $1 per bag. Students who currently are enrolled in the Cherokee County School District’s free and reduced lunch program will be able to pick these bags up every Thursday during the last 10 minutes of seventh period. Donations from students are encouraged and accepted in many locations, including the front office, athletic office and counseling office.
“We are soliciting donations from kids and teachers in the community, anyone who wants to drop food off at any time can. We ask for nonperishables, no glass, and nothing extremely heavy, because it will go home in backpacks. We want food that is easy to make. Microwavable, individually packaged or sometimes single serving portions; things that can sustain a family through the weekend is the goal,” Henson said.
Within the first few weeks of this new program, Atlanta Food Bank generously has donated a couple of tons of food to the pantry. Volunteers have sorted the donations, organizing and putting them on shelves. WHS students with disabilities have been able to work on organizing the foods, helping them improve their job-related skills. These amazing students, and many others involved from the student body, have been doing a phenomenal job lending a helping hand.
By Hannah Suh, Woodstock High School journalism student.