What started out as a student government project at Washington High School in North Carolina is now a full time resource for students in need at the high school.
Senior Erin Lewis said that she and some other classmates as well as a supervisor decided they wanted to start a food pantry at their school because many of the students needed the resource. They wanted it to be able to be used as often as it was needed, with no questions asked, to respect that it might be hard for some students to ask for help.
“We wanted to focus on those that need it, but they don’t want to tell us that they need it.”
The pantry is anonymous, and not advertised in the school and that students hear about the pantry solely through word of mouth.
“We don’t want the students to be embarrassed or the family to feel like they’ve done something wrong,” guidance counselor Jennifer Beach said.
The reason behind the anonymous pantry is pretty basic – school educators want the best results from their students, and if their students are coming to school hungry, or without the basic necessities, they can’t be successful in school.
Misty Walker, the school principal, told The Huffington Post “If we want academics to improve, we have to make certain we’re meeting our students’ basic needs. We want to strengthen our community, and schooling is just one aspect of that.”
This school recognized that student success comes when your nourish both the mind and body, and has set up an anonymous pantry system for students to access so no one goes home hungry, or without the basic necessitites.