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Northwest Leadership Students Help Fight Food Insecurity
Student-led food drive helps fight food insecurity for Northwest students and their families
When the school year began, Northwest High School teachers worried students who typically relied on school meals would struggle due to not being at school five days a week. A food pantry was suggested to provide support for those experiencing food insecurity and Northwest Agriculture Teacher Janet Robbins knew just the students to spearhead the effort.
Abby Adams, Courtney Jones, Reece McCoy, Julia Kelly Ralston, and Tyson Russell — known among the faculty at Northwest as the "Fab Five" — are seniors in Agriculture Leadership, a fourth-level agriculture class taught by Robbins.
"These kids came in two weeks before school began to start the planning process," Robbins said. "They've done all the work. I've just been here to help if they need it."
The "Fab Five" hit the ground running by sending letters to teachers, speaking with local churches and businesses, and creating promotional videos asking those who can to donate to the food pantry. "We went in full force because we knew there were students and families who needed a little extra help," Ralston said.
Eight churches and five local businesses have partnered with the Agriculture Leadership class to provide food donations. "Every organization donating food has a designated item so that we don't get too much of one thing and not enough of another," Robbins said. Northwest staff, various school clubs and Whitfield County School Nutrition have also pitched in to help. Since the beginning of August, the "Fab Five" has received over $3,000 in monetary donations and a mass amount of food donations to fill "Bruin Boxes."
Boxes are packaged and delivered every other Friday. Each box is filled with 15-20 food items and delivered to students by a Northwest staff member. According to Assistant Principal Robyn Bagget, the "Fab Five" do not know the names of students receiving food items — they "only know how many boxes to fill."
The first of the Bruin Boxes were delivered on October 23 to 18 families. Since then, the number of families receiving boxes has grown to 24. Robbins said the students have been "very appreciative and excited" to get the assortment of food. "These boxes have really helped our students and their families, especially under the current circumstances."
The "Fab Five" plans to continue packing Bruin Boxes "as long as possible," Adams said. "We've got funds now, so we really don't want to stop."
If you would like to partner with the Northwest Agriculture Leadership class and help provide food to families in need, please contact Northwest High School at (706) 516-2200.