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Four FHS seniors on a mission to feed classmates


Four Farragut High School seniors have made it their mission to “feed Farragut.”

Kaylor Martin, Emily Odom, Callie Rather and Alexandra Constantinou all stepped up when FHS principal Michael Reynolds spoke to their Leadership Initiative class about the financial needs of some of their fellow students.

This year, 17 percent of FHS students are enrolled in the free and reduced lunches program. The most destitute among them do not have food at home over the weekend.

“When Mr. Reynolds said students were going home every Friday with nothing to eat until Monday, I was baffled. I knew Farragut received a lot of transfers from No Child Left Behind this year, but I didn’t realize how bad it was at home for some of these students,” Emily said.

The four girls immediately decided to make these students a priority and organized “Feeding Farragut.”

Each Friday morning before school, Kaylor, Alexandra, Callie and Emily meet in the student affairs office to fill backpacks with nonperishable food items for needy students to take home over the weekend.

“We feed 20 students right now, but those numbers rise and fall,” Kaylor said.

The girls work continually to secure funding for their project.


Alexandra said, “We sent out letters to businesses asking for donations, and we also sent them to local churches. We attended a PTSO meeting to raise awareness.

“Kroger Marketplace donated two weeks’ worth of food and the manager took us through the store and helped us pick out the things we would need. And Strasburg Children in Turkey Creek held a can drive for us,” Alexandra said.

When push came to shove, the girls’ families stepped in to help as well.

“My family donated two weeks worth of food, and Emily’s family donated two weeks worth of food,” Alexandra said.

The girls recently have received two checks for $200 each from benefactors who wish to remain anonymous.

Each of the girls said the plight of their fellow students has touched them profoundly.

“The other girls and I tried to go an entire weekend without eating just to experience what they felt, and I honestly can tell you I did not last a day,” Emily said.

“It was the hardest thing I ever tried to do. After attempting that, I just realized it was such an important project, to not only give these kids food but to let them know that someone cares about them,” she added.

“When Mr. Reynolds told us about the problem, it was something that hit home with me,” Kaylor said.

“I think it was because I have gone on mission trips and seen what people go through and I have fasted before and I hate it. I am miserable doing it,” she added.

Callie said, “I feel like I have grown up privileged and I can’t imagine not having food every day. For me it is important to show them that they matter. I know it builds them up and gives them confidence to know that someone cares about them.”

The students who receive the backpacks do so completely anonymously, and Callie said the anonymity makes the program more special for her.

“I like that I can do something anonymously for these students with no recognition from them,” she said.

“I think it is really great that they can feel our love for them just by giving them food and knowing that someone cares. Mr. Reynolds cared enough to speak with us about it and see if we could come up with a community service project,” Emily added.



The girls are still in need of funding for the project.

“If anyone wants to donate, they can write a check to Farragut High School and in the memo line write Feeding Farragut, or they can email us at fhsawareness@gmail.com for more information,” Kaylor said.

“We haven’t decided if we are going to be able to send food over the summer because of the anonymity, but we would like to secure our funds for next year so we can start sending food home to students who need it the first week of school,” she added.

 

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