Hunger roars in the aching stomachs of students that come to school without a proper breakfast. The uneasiness from hunger makes it harder and harder for a student to pay attention in class.
The Food Research and Action Center has studies that have shown that hunger can lead to lower math scores, attention problems, behavior, emotional, and academic problems. Those students who are often malnourished are most likely to repeat a grade. Here at the high school, students have the opportunity to use the food pantry.
The food pantry is sponsored by the Beta Club and is open to any student who is ever hungry and needs something to ease their hunger pains. Beta Club adviser and geometry teacher Casey Dabney helps put together snacks to use in the food pantry.
“The food pantry is a free food closet for students who are hungry, either they forgot their lunch, or they don’t have any lunch money,” Dabney said.
Dabney encourages Beta members to bring in snacks that they would want to eat if they were hungry. Theses items may include granola bars, pop tarts, bags of chips, a cup of noodles or even a can of ravioli. All of these items can help the students that need something to eat throughout the day.
To be a Beta Club member you must maintain a 3.5 GPA average and have ten service points. To get service points, students either must do community service or donate ten dollars worth of snack to give to the students that are hungry.
Junior Jenna Miles is also the Beta Club vice president. Even though Miles is an officer, she must perform the duties of a fellow member of the club.
“Everyone in the club has to do volunteer hours and/or donate food to the food pantry to maintain membership,” Miles said.
The purpose and message of the Beta Club food pantry is very clear and meaningful to the teacher and students who make it happen each year. Dabney enjoys helping the students who need any kind of snack to help them focus in school.
“No questions asked, if you’re hungry, we have free food,” Dabney said.
The purpose of this tasty blessing is to provide students with nutrition and focus. It is really hard to focus when students are in class and trying to learn, if students cannot focus, all they have to do is ask to be excused to go to the pantry.
“We want to keep you focused,” Dabney said.
The Beta Club food pantry is an annual event that receives donations every year from Beta members. The pantry has never run out of food, but if it’s running low, it would be mentioned in a club meeting.
“When it started we had huge amounts of food in the pantry, but its kinda dwindled in the continuing years,” Dabney said.
Donations to the food pantry are very much appreciated by the teachers who coordinate it and the students who use it. The pantry is open to anyone who wants to donate and eat from it.
“Oh! We will happily take donations from anybody,” Dabney said.
Having this food pantry has affected many of the students by giving them something that will help them make it through the day.
“It helps them out. Whenever they need something, they can just go and get it,” Miles said.