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Middle school students stock secret food pantry

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EDMOND, Okla. --  Middle school students spend a month re-stocking a school food pantry which had run desperately dry.

Most parents in the Edmond School District have no idea, each middle school has a food pantry in the school building for families in need.

At Summit Middle School their food pantry was running alarmingly low in January.

So, the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS)  students decided they were going to stock it up.

"We were panicking," said food pantry volunteer coordinator Lisa Chastain. "We were trying to get help."

Thirty students at Summit Middle depend on the school pantry to eat on the weekends.

The program is a bit of a secret since middle school can be cruel.

The program coordinator stores the food in a teacher's lounge.

Volunteers fill up weekend food bags behind the scenes.

School counselors slip the bags into student back packs on Fridays.

The food bag contains just enough for one student to last the weekend.

When NJHS students found out the shelves were bare they organized a massive competition food drive.

"All week we've been gathering up food from every grade and having a competition to see who could get the most food for these kids who need help," said eighth grader Landry Purvis.

"Summit has the biggest heart," Chastain said. "The kids and the staff here are just absolutely amazing to jump in and help us out. They care about their kids."

School families responded en masse donating 3,301 food items; enough to feed 174 kids.

Chastain believes it will be enough to last almost until the end of the school year.

"To see how much food came in because they care about our kids is just amazing," she said.

"Whenever you do a really good deed you always feel really good inside, you know," said eighth grader Kira Wilke.

The students were super specific with their competition drive, so they have just the right amount of just the right kind of food they need to serve their fellow students.

"We're one of the only food pantries that sends fresh fruit home with our children. The other food pantries here don't," Chastain said.

"Acts of kindness is kind of what we work on here so it goes toward that," said Purvis.

If you are a student in the Edmond School District who needs food assistance on the weekends, you can tell your school counselor to get involved in the program.

If you would like to donate to the food pantry at Summit or any other Edmond school, call your neighborhood school.