JOPLIN, Mo. — High school can be hard enough on students on a full stomach.
But what about those running on empty?
That’s the goal of one volunteer organization.
If you’re biggest dilemma in the morning is deciding which food to eat for breakfast, count your blessings.
That’s not the case for most in the Joplin School District.
More than 6 out of every ten students live in poverty, and that’s if they have a home at all.
Holly Yust, Joplin High School Business Teacher, said, “We do have a lot of students that are homeless or are couch surfing and so this provides them with opportunity.”
Yust is talking about the Eagle Reserve, a nonperishable food pantry just for students of Joplin High School located inside the school itself.
But in some circumstances, it can benefit any student, not just the over 60% who qualify for free and reduced meals.
“Sometimes we’ll have buses that run late and the cafeteria has already closed and so we go ahead and let a lot of those students come in and eat breakfast”
The idea came from a former J.H.S. Teacher who grew up food insecure.
Dr. Stephen Gilbreth, J.H.S. Principal, said, “And she knew there was a need for that at the high school, Joplin High School, and so she and procured this space and she and two other teachers started the food pantry.”
And if students don’t have enough to eat at home, clothing may also be in short supply.
No worry, there’s an Eagle Reserve for that too.
If you’d like to donate non perishable food and snacks or gently worn clothing, just bring it to the high school during regular school hours.