Benson Magnet High School has been starting something similar to a food pantry where items like canned and dried packaged food, toiletries and general clothing items are donated. The idea started when social worker, Julie Mason, noticed she had always collected stuff and purchased stuff for students who needed them. She and other planning members started this in order to help students in need, especially now.
“The pandemic helped us realize how families needed more support and we wanted them to have those resources,” Mason said. “We wanted no barriers for students coming to school and instead want to set them up for success.”
Aside from the donation of the items, money has been a way to donate as well. There was a goal of raising $10,000 and they have already gotten an anonymous donation of $5,000. Their hope is to get enough money to fill up the room while getting more food and toiletries so it can be the best it can be.
“We have been planning for 5 months but, the room has been taking a while,” Mason said. “The door we need to separate the rest of the room from the teacher lounge is still not delivered.”
Due to that problem, students do not have a designated place they can donate. However, they can go to the main office so that it can later be put it in the room. Hopefully, when the room is done, the students can bring it up to the doors right by where students walk up the stairs in the commons.
“When students and their families are in need of these items, the best way is to go through the counselor or social worker,” Mason said. “When students need them, there will be confidential privacy as they most likely wouldn’t want people to know.”