Stomp Out Hunger

FFA students start non-profit food pantry to benefit peers in need

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Natalie Glassel

Hayley Hines, freshman, puts apple juice on the food pantry shelves on Mar. 4. Hines loves the food pantry because it helps people in need. “It’s a good thing we have this food pantry because a lot of families need it,” Hines said.

Lilia Parks, Reporter

The struggle of many families for food security during the Covid-19 pandemic inspired Hayley Hines, freshman, to start a food pantry for high school students.
“In November, I saw a video of kids our age who are hungry, so I decided to do something about it,” Hines said.
She started the food pantry and also organizes donations and ensures a sufficient amount of food each week. The food pantry provides food to 10 families a week. Students fill out a form which remains anonymous, once that is done volunteers for the food pantry prepare their groceries that will be delivered to students. This has not only benefited these families, it also provided Hines with a new perspective.
“It has helped me realize how many kids in our community need food, and it has made me grateful I have food at my house,” Hines said.
She uses her time management and communication skills to promote success for the food pantry. Although the food pantry has had a lot of success, it also faced some challenges.
“It is hard to encourage students to fill out the form, but putting it on the announcements has helped. We have also published it on social media,” Hines said.
Armed with the idea of the food pantry in November, Hines approached John Menefee, agriculture teacher, for guidance.
Hines brought the idea to Menefee and they developed it from there and prepared to send it to the board.
The food pantry could not continue without the support of the community with about 3,000 donations, Menefee said.
“The food drive here [before winter break] and at the middle school have really helped,” Menefee said.
Along with donations from the schools, many people donate food who heard about the food pantry through social media. The hope of bringing the school together encourages Menefee to continue helping with the food pantry.
“I hope it will bring our school together and support each other, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. I hope it helps people realize this will be an ongoing issue during the Covid-19 pandemic, where parents have lost jobs and there isn’t food security at home,” Menefee said.