Many schools throughout the Cobb County School District have food pantries to help students and families in need. Teachers started some of the pantries after recognizing a need inside their classrooms. Other food pantries are operated by outside community organizations like MUST Ministries, which recently cut the ribbon on their 30th school pantry.
Kennedy Deveaux, a junior at Campbell High School, teamed up with Walton High School junior Andrew “AJ” Durkee to open the Milford food pantry.
Kennedy chose to address the problem of food insecurity for her Girl Scouts Gold Award project. She got the idea when she attended the Atlanta Braves Leadership Institute last year and heard Dr. Dwight “Ike” Reighard talk about his role as the CEO of MUST Ministries.
“He talked about MUST Ministries and what they do for the community and how many schools and children that they have helped,” Kennedy explained.
After hearing from Dr. Reighard and volunteering with her Girls Scout Troop at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Kennedy decided she wanted to help other people. She didn’t want the young students at Milford to worry any longer about where their next meal was going to come from.
Kennedy worked on bringing in the donations of food, and AJ organized his team of scouts to construction the pantry.
“I was in charge of building all shelves and figuring out how much space we needed for all the different food items,” the soon-to-be Eagle Scout said. “I spent about five months working on it.”
Like Kennedy, this was AJ’s way of giving back. The two high school students did open the pantry without help. They recruited their fellow scouts, community members and other students from Campbell and Walton to fill the shelves with enough food to serve 20 families.
Kennedy worked with her school clubs like the National Honor Society and 4-H program to keep the donations flowing. AJ plans to do the same at his school.
After the students’ hard work, they were finally able to cut the ribbon on Milford’s new pantry during National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
If the Milford pantry is an example of how two high school students can impact the lives of 20 Cobb families, imagine the impact that all of Cobb’s 100,000 students can have on the entire community, state, or even the world.