Rossford faculty members help ensure no student goes home hungry

    The food pantry is available to all students in need at Rossford High School (WNWO).

    PERRYSBURG, Ohio (WNWO) -- It's a problem that is not always noticeable, but food insecurity affects more than one million people in Ohio.

    That's why staff members at Rossford High School are making sure none of its students go home hungry.

    "Sometimes students will tell us, you know things are rough at home and we might not have food, or sometimes we'll notice that kids are a little sleepy and they look like maybe they haven't eaten in awhile," said Kellie Hawk, Rossford High School intervention specialist.

    The idea started 10 years ago with a few snacks and food items after a teacher noticed that some students weren't getting proper meals outside of school.

    Statistics show that one in every seven people in Ohio struggles with hunger, and one out of every five is a child.

    That's why now Rossford High School has a full fledged food pantry for any student in need.

    "I think regardless of what school district you work for, there are going to be kids who face all sort of different situations when they go home. You could have a really large district in an urban population, or you can have a smaller district like we are and no matter what you have kids face obstacles and one of those obstacles is hunger," said Hawk.

    Hawk has a handful of students that help her pack up the bags of food to send kids home with.

    Jessica Fields is one of those students and takes pride in helping her classmates.

    "I like working for the food pantry because I like helping in the school," said Fields.

    Fields is in 11th grade at RHS.

    "Jessica actually stocks the shelves and she packs the backpacks and we actually make it part of the learning process as well, so she can talk about whats important and what we should include for these kids," said Hawk.

    The discreet backpacks are filled with anything from main meal items, to snacks, canned vegetables and fruits and hygiene products.

    All that are donated by staff members and their family.

    Hawk said the number fluctuates, but they're usually able to help about a dozen students a week.

    "It's important that all of our kids are given everything that they need at home and obviously nutrition and food are two of those things, so we want to make sure that we can do what we can to help our kids be prepared in school, and on the weekends make sure they never face hunger," said Hawk.

    If you're interested in donating items to the pantry, you can drop those off to the Rossford High School main office in their temporary location at Owens Community College in the audio visual building.

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