As the St. Francis High School students collected cans of food to help feed the hungry this holiday season, they were also helping some of their classmates.
Roughly 300 pounds of the 1,771 food collected during the Nov. 7-16 school food drive was donated to the school’s food shelf, which opened Oct. 22, with the rest being delivered to the North Anoka County Emergency food shelf.
“Tons of people do food drives, but we never think about the students we see every day,” said senior Rebecca Schesso.
The food shelf, which was created by the Fashion Club, was a way to help and give back in a way many people don’t think about, she said.
The food shelf is only available to high school students, who come in when the food shelf is open and pack a backpack full to take home.
“We have known for years that there are students in need,” said Beth Widell, family and consumer science teacher and Fashion Club adviser.
After attending the July Family Career and Community Leaders of America conference and hearing about what community projects the other clubs were doing, junior Adrianah Trevino-Gartner and Widell knew that the food shelf project was something they wanted to do.
“It was a project that hit home for both of us,” Widell said.
Opening the food shelf was a good way to give back to the community and their fellow students as well as fill a need and a great way for individuals to give back in an unselfish way, Trevino-Gartner said.
Although the food shelf is still new, word is starting to get around.
The St. Francis Elementary School donated about 400 food items from its November food drive and other offers of donations are coming in.
The club did not solicit the donations, they are just volunteering, Widell said.
“It is amazing how word can spread,” Schesso said.
In addition to word of mouth, the Fashion Club is letting everyone know about the food shelf with spots on the high school broadcast news and in the high school paper, as well as the Facebook, posters and the district newsletter.
The school has a just a few students using the food shelf right now, Widell said.
While the nine-member Fashion Club organized the food shelf, the special education students and their education professionals handle the day-to-day operations, she said.
Tammy Sakry is at firstname.lastname@example.org