Students tackle food insecurity

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DECATUR — Some 6th graders are helping the less fortunate. They created pantries stocked with food and blankets. Their teacher says it’s great to see them care about the community.

One pantry is at March French STEM Academy; the other is in front of Old Kings Orchard Community Center. Anyone is welcome to the food inside and students hope others join the effort.

Class projects usually happen within the four walls of a school, but some students are thinking beyond that.

“I’ve always wanted to really help the community as a whole and I feel really great about helping other people.”

Camarion Hill Patterson is one of those helping design and build two little free pantries.

“They’ll just walk by the pantry and they might notice it and they might question it and grab something to eat.”

The idea started in the classroom. Teacher Tami Roberts wanted to see what they thought was a concern. Food insecurity came up first.

“We have this little problem where people don’t really have that much food.”

Roberts says, from there, the kids got to work and started to find ways to help. After months of hard work, two boxes like this popped up.

“I check it as I pull into the parking lot each morning and it looks different from the night I left before.”

Students stocked the first supply of food and now they hope to see the community lend a hand because they’re hoping more people can walk away with a full heart too.

“I think it means that they can go home happy or somewhat happy because they have something to eat and their stomachs can be full.”

Donations will keep the pantry going. The idea for these pantries started in Arkansas and spread around the country.

Since last year, the project has taken off. Their Facebook page has more than 20,000 likes.

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