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GRC opens food bank for students and families

George Rogers Clark High School students and their families have a new resource available if they are facing food insecurity.

GRC teacher Brian Foudray and Youth Service Center Director John Lennon have partnered to open a food bank at the high school, stocked with both perishable and non-perishable goods.

Foudray said in years past, he and Lennon along with students at the school had worked together on food drives to gather donations for Clark County Community Services and other organizations throughout the community.

After seeing the high demand CCCS deals with each day, the two decided to look into creating a resource themselves to alleviate needs in the community.

The two were assisted by Tara Cruse, the school nurse at  Campbell Junior High School, which also operates a food bank.

“She was absolutely essential in helping get things going,” Foudray said.

Lennon said he has given bags of food to some students before out of the YSC, but reaching out to high school students about issues like food insecurity can be difficult because of social pressures.

“Some kids just don’t want to be seen carrying a bag of food,” Lennon said.

Lennon said instances of food insecurity tend to increase around the holidays, when students are not in school.

“Every student here now gets two free meals a day,” Lennon said. “When school is out, that’s not necessarily guaranteed.”

As a result, Lennon and Foudray said they are hoping to reach out more to parents in addition to students. The idea is to make food available for pickup by parents so the student doesn’t have to bring it home on the bus for his peers to see.

Foudray said the food bank will be seeking donations, but for now the school is looking to see what demand will be like. Foudray said the high school’s senior advisory committee will be helping to keep the food pantry stocked through donation drives throughout the year. The school will also accept donations from the public. Foudray said in the long term, he would like to see the food bank operating year round.

For more information, contact GRC at 859-744-61111.