New food pantry in high school helping families in Jackson County

NAPOLEON, Mich. (WLNS) — We rely on our local schools to educate our kids, provide activities, and host events.

But a local school district in Jackson County is going a step further and making sure families have enough food on their table at home.

6 News got a close look where the food is coming from.

It’s a small room at Napoleon High School, packed with community pride.

“To see people that you see every day and understand that sometimes they need help, it feels good that we can help them out a little bit,” said Napoleon Community Schools Athletic Director Scott Ashe.

The Napoleon Food Pantry is located inside Napoleon High School.

It opened in May with the help of the Brooklyn Food Pantry so families in this small, rural community don’t have to travel far to get the food they need.

“It started off kind of slow and one person a day, and now it’s kind of picked up,” said Ashe.

Ashe, who is the school district’s athletic director and co-principal at the high school, is the pantry’s organizer.

He says so far all of the food has come through community donations.

“We have anything you need to make a meal. It’s an easy access area, so people can come in and feel free not have to wonder about running into school personnel, kids and things like that. It’s real private back here,” Ashe said.

Since the food pantry is located inside the high school, student athletes are getting involved and learning about hunger in their own community.

Ashe says the students are doing more than just stocking shelves.

“They’ll help sign people in and out and carry groceries out to cars and things like that. So I want them to have total involvement in it. The majority of the people who have used this have been from this community and these kids are going to know some of these people. We hope it will help them grow as young men and women,” Ashe said.

The pantry is intended for people who live within the Napoleon School District.

There are also rules about how much food you can take and how often you can come.

“But we haven’t turned anyone away,” said Ashe.

With so many people rushing to fill the pantry shelves, the athletic director says he’s proud to be part of this small community with a big heart.

“Our goal is hopefully eventually we won’t need it. But as long as there is a need we’re going to make it work here,” Ashe said.

The Napoleon Food Pantry is located in the back of the high school building at door number 17.

The high school is at 201 West Street in Napoleon.

The pantry is open on Wednesday afternoons from 3-5 p.m.

If you’d like to donate money or food to the pantry you can drop it off at the high school.

Right now there’s a need for boxed and canned food, along with toiletries, baby food, and formula.

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