Jim Hill helps students with food insecurity

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MINOT, N.D. - A couple weeks ago we brought you the story about Backpack Buddies and how they help kids in elementary school. But, once those kids get to middle school, food insecurity doesn't go away, and that is why one school start their own food pantry.

Kids fill the cafeteria at Jim Hill with trays full of food for lunch, but on a Friday afternoon when that last bell rings some wonder when their next meal will be.

The staff says they wanted to change that.

"They were trying to decide what to do because it is such a high need that isn't met at the middle school level yet,” said Mike Anderson, physical education teacher at Jim Hill.

Anderson took over the project. He secured donations for the program and goes shopping, sometimes all the way to Bismarck just to help these kids.

"You can see on Mondays if kids haven't had great meals over the weekend. We don't give them full meals but it is just enough to supplement their weekend food. It helps them just be more active be more energetic. The more active they are the brain is going to be more awake and they are going to remember what we are trying to teach them,” said Anderson.

The program launched near the end of last February.

"Research that says that if kids are nutritionally balances over the weekend it makes them more successful in school. And, that is why we wanted to do the program initially, because we are here for the kids,” said Anderson.

He says the kids are overjoyed when they get their self-proclaimed weekend "snack packs."

"I had a seventh grade boy last year who at the end of the 6th hour class said to his teacher, just bounded out the door, I get to go get food now! It was awesome,” said Anderson.

Anderson says he hopes to see the program grow to help even more kids this year.

Jim Hill is currently only taking monetary donations, so that they can make sure the kids are getting the right food. If you would like to donate to the pantry we will have information on how you can contact Mike Anderson at 701-857-4491 or by email at michael.anderson@minot.k12.nd.us.