(Photo: NICOLE HAYDEN/TIMES HERALD)
Port Huron Northern girls collecting food for students in need
Two high schools juniors from Port Huron Northern are dedicating their time to providing food for students in need.
While Riley Shagena and Madison Adair have a stock of supplies to help a handful of students, they are hoping for the community’s assistance to provide food for even more middle school and high school students in the district.
The project is called Packs for a Purpose.
The girls are looking for canned food, toiletry and monetary donations to sustain their project through the current school year.
They currently provide weekend food bags to students at Fort Gratiot and Holland Woods middle schools but do not have enough funds to service Central Middle School. They also provide a standing food pantry to Port Huron Northern High School where any student can come and fill a bag of food.
The free weekend food bags include two breakfast items, two lunches, two snacks and two fruits and vegetables.
Students and teachers report to school counselors any students they think may need the assistance and the counselor sets up the food exchange. Everything is anonymous so Riley and Madison never know who is receiving the food.
The project kicked off last week and they have already provided 10 weekend food bags to Holland Woods Middle School, two to Fort Gratiot Middle School, and about two students at Port Huron Northern High School filled bags to take home as well.
The duo said their goal is to have enough supplies to provide 50 students a week with weekend food bags.
“We felt there was a need in our schools,” said Riley. “We know that 70 percent of the district is on free or reduced lunch and we wondered how they would get food to eat on the weekend. We felt it was an important need to fill because food helps nourish you.”
Madison said it costs $5 to fill each bag and $150 would provide weekend food for a student for a whole year.
But in addition to funds and food donations, the duo was also hoping to begin collecting toiletries such as deodorant and shampoo.
“We wanted to do something to be helpful,” Madison said. “I think it’s important to help fellow students.”
Riley said she believes good nutrition is key to being confident and healthy in school and helps students perform better.
Those interested in donating can write a check to Packs for a Purpose and drop it off at the Port Huron Northern main office. For more information or to access the GoFundMe page go to www.facebook.com/Packs-for-a-Purpose.
Contact Nicole Hayden at (810) 989-6279 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @nicoleandpig.
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