Baraga food pantry fuels hungry students

PANTRY PROJECT—Students in Amanda Rinkinen’s English 11 class were challenged to come up with projects to make the Baraga school or community a better place. One idea that has taken off is a food pantry organized by, l-r, McKenzie Barrett and Andrea Chagnon. Food is available anonymously for students in need. Backpacks of food are sent home for families on Friday afternoons.

by Barry Drue
A guest speaker focusing on better and more sustainable communities led to a variety of “good works” created and accomplished by Baraga students in Amanda Rinkinen’s English 11 class. Two of those students, juniors Andrea Chagnon and McKenzie Barrett led the effort toward a food pantry for Baraga students. “We had a guest speaker who talked about UN global projects to make communities better and more sustainable,” Chagnon said. “Mrs. Rinkinen asked us if we wanted to do a project. It’s a class assignment.” One group of Rinkinen’s students “adopted” a second grade class to read to and mentor. Another group is securing funding for a new playground. “One is showing tourists what’s around here,” Barrett said, “doing what my mom (Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Tracey Barrett) does.” The food pantry is located in a room in the high school office. There are snacks and foods for consumption during the day if a student is hungry. The pantry is handled anonymously through office staff, including High School Secretary Courtney VanderZanden. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.