Some of the items available in the Washington High School food pantry
WNCT screenshot

A Beaufort County, N.C., high school, committed to making sure students in need can get food without being embarrassed about it, has started a food pantry, WNCT reports

According to the report, the idea for the food pantry started out as a student government project at Washington High School, but the benefit of having the resources available permanently soon became clear.

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"We wanted to focus on those that need it, but they don't want to tell us that they need it," senior Erin Lewis, who helped start the pantry, told WNCT. 

The pantry offers students nonperishable food items as many times as they need, with no questions asked. The pantry is anonymous, but the news of its existence spread by word of mouth, with no advertisements or fliers. 

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“We don’t want the students to be embarrassed or the family to feel like they’ve done something wrong,” guidance counselor Jennifer Beach said. “Those who were involved in it to start with will let other students know: ‘Hey, this is something we’ve got up and running; we helped create it and you can see your counselor for help.’”

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Project supervisor Laura Thompson said that the pantry was really there to show students that school was more than a place to come to pass tests and get a grade. 

“It’s the idea that we’re not just here to teach you the material that you need to know to pass a test,” Thompson told the station. “We’re here to educate you for life. Part of that is nourishing the whole student, mind and body, and when we do both of those things, we know students will have great outcomes.”

The school is hoping to grow the pantry, which currently also carries school supplies and clothes, and add perishable items for the dozens of students who already use it. 

Read more at WNCT.