HILLIARD, Ohio (WCMH)–If you have ever wondered if kids today get the reality of other people, here is your answer. Margaret Lee at Hilliard Darby High School realized there was a need for food at her high school.
“When you’re sitting in class and you’re super hungry and you can’t focus, I’ve been there,” exclaimed Lee. “Everyone’s been there.”
Lee approached her school’s administration and explained she wanted to start a food pantry at school. Any student who was hungry or needed food for the night or weekend could stop in and grab a few things to either hold them over for the day, night or weekend. The administration worked with Lee to overcome obstacles in her way. Logistics: where could this service be placed inside the school. Volunteers: who would operate the pantry. Supplies: how would the food be obtained
“This was about her and her being empathetic,” said Darby Assistant Principal Matt Middleton. “There are plenty of students in our school district that are in need, that go home and do not have food.”
Groups from the community have donated money, items, and encouragement for the pantry that is set-up in an eight by eight section of the student snack store. Students can come in grab a few items, check-in on a sheet of paper (literally a checkmark, no names, or student ID’s are used,) and leave. Since the pantry began in January, Hilliard Davidson and Bradley High Schools, as well as a few middle schools, have adopted the program. At Darby, the pantry averages 40 students getting food weekly. The other school’s programs are so new, Lee said she did not have any solid numbers.
“Hopefully this can go Columbus wide or nationwide,” Middleton emphasized the importance of the program.
Understand, Lee is a senior. She will not be here to operate the pantry after she graduates. Middleton said they are working on a plan to keep the service as long as possible.
“It makes me feel pretty cool,” Lee said with a huge smile. “It makes me feel like I’ve really left a legacy on Hilliard Darby.”