Food insecurity can be a detrimental factor to a child’s education. And three Shaker High School seniors are working to make sure that none of their peers have to worry about food instead of their classes.
Liza Johnson, Willow Yang, and Shantala Mehta all work in the Shaker High School Food Pantry. The pantry was started about four years ago through Student Government sending six or seven bags of food home a week, but has now taken on a life of its own. The girls and other students who help with the food pantry pack over 30 backpacks that go home with students every Friday.
“You know there are families that need support, so it feels good to be able to help,” said Willow. The girls have taken the lead in organizing bake sales, food drives, and reaching out to community members for donations, according to Ms. Lisa Morgan, who nominated the three of them.
“Families said they had no idea and donated so much,” said Liza. “The more people know the more they want to help.” They have also organized food drives at concerts and movie nights held at schools.
The girls say that as word has spread, teachers have begun doing food drives in classrooms and parents are sending in their kids with donations as well. The Food Pantry collects mostly soups, other non-perishable food items, and hygiene products for their peers in need.
“It makes people more aware of their privilege, that this is right here, not some far off place,” said Shantala.
Even though the three girls are seniors, they’re not worried about the health of the Food Pantry next year. They say there are lots of underclassmen involved who help them out, and that it isn’t difficult to get students, teachers, and parents involved once they know about the issue.
Congratulations to Liza, Willow, and Shantala as our February Kids Care Award Winners.
If you’d like to help out with the Food Pantry, you can email Shaker High School Student Government here.