Spring Street Students Create Food Donation Boxes for People to Take, Give

Posted May 15, 2021 at 5:30 am by

Contributed Photo/Spring Street International. Students paint food donation boxes.

From Spring Street Inter­na­tion­al School

Island res­i­dents may be notic­ing dec­o­rat­ed file cab­i­nets scat­tered around the town and islands.

These cab­i­nets were designed by Eng­lish com­po­si­tion stu­dents at Spring Street Inter­na­tion­al School to help relieve food inse­cu­ri­ty for islanders.

Contributed Photo/Spring Street International School. From left to right: Francis Black, Linnea Morris, and Julian Rich.

The cab­i­nets were repur­posed to become food dona­tion cab­i­nets, where peo­ple can freely take or give non-per­ish­able food. This project was inspired by a sim­i­lar one in Michi­gan, which suc­cess­ful­ly reached peo­ple who might not oth­er­wise uti­lize the food bank.

Due to COVID, many fam­i­lies and indi­vid­u­als have expe­ri­enced hardship.

Spring Street stu­dents believe these mini-dis­tri­b­u­tion points will be use­ful in help­ing peo­ple meet basic needs. They hope that the com­mu­ni­ty will help to sup­port increased food secu­ri­ty for all islanders by either tak­ing food they need or leav­ing food for those who need it. The goal is for the food cab­i­nets to end up being cared for and stocked by the com­mu­ni­ty over time.

Eng­lish class teacher Jen­nifer Boy­den stat­ed, “I’m so proud of the work these stu­dents did to under­stand issues around food inse­cu­ri­ty and to pro­vide an inno­v­a­tive solu­tion. It’s also just reaf­firm­ing that despite all of the social iso­la­tion, their solu­tion rec­og­nizes our community’s inter­con­nect­ed­ness and desire to help each other.”

Island res­i­dents can find the food dis­tri­b­u­tion cab­i­nets in var­i­ous acces­si­ble loca­tions. While each cab­i­net is dec­o­rat­ed dif­fer­ent­ly, they all have the line, “Take what you need, give what you can” paint­ed on them. Stu­dent out­reach has already result­ed in gen­er­ous food dona­tions from the com­mu­ni­ty, result­ing in all sev­en of the cab­i­nets being ful­ly stocked with food.

In addi­tion, stu­dents met with local busi­ness­es and orga­ni­za­tions to find the best food dis­tri­b­u­tion box loca­tions, includ­ing the Fri­day Har­bor Food Bank.

The Food Bank is ful­ly in sup­port of the project. The Food Bank pro­vid­ed guid­ance on the best loca­tions for the food cab­i­nets and what to stock them with.

While research­ing issues relat­ed to food inse­cu­ri­ty, stu­dents dis­cov­ered that it is increas­ing around the world, and has only been made worse by COVID.

Accord­ing to the Unit­ed Nations World Food Pro­gram, the pan­dem­ic has near­ly dou­bled the num­ber of peo­ple strug­gling from food inse­cu­ri­ty world­wide, from 135 mil­lion in 2019 to 265 mil­lion in 2020. Over 50 mil­lion peo­ple suf­fer from food inse­cu­ri­ty in the Unit­ed States, mak­ing it one of the biggest health and nutri­tion issues in the Unit­ed States.

The stu­dents hope their project will help raise aware­ness about the issue and to mit­i­gate hunger and food inse­cu­ri­ty in this local community.

Head of School Louis Prus­sack has loved watch­ing the stu­dents col­lect food, paint the cab­i­nets, and fig­ure out how in some small way stu­dents can help oth­ers in our community.

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