Volunteers recently set up shelves and built a dressing room for the school to dedicate a space to a food and clothing pantry, which is filled with donations from the community. The new space was previously used for GED testing, which has now been moved to a different area of the building.
Over the years, there has been an increase in students turning to the school for basic needs, Central Principal Paul Kunde said.
The new permanent space stems from the outpouring of community support after a Facebook post indicated the pantry was low on food for students, which was previously stored on a shelf in the teachers lounge. As the post gained attention, including a WZZM-TV news story, the amount of donations grew, said Dawn Lintjer, a paraprofessional for the school.
Members of the Central Fan Club volunteered on a recent Sunday to put together the clothing racks and the shelves for food, and built the dressing room.
The club is a group of people who came together a few years ago to support the school in different ways. They cleaned up the school’s grounds last spring, and they also randomly bring CHS staff doughnuts or lunch, Kunde said.
“They are an incredible group of folks and their efforts to support Central High School are so deeply appreciated,” Kunde said.
Kunde said a student’s basic needs must to be taken care of because, without them, it’s hard for school to happen. When students need something from the pantry, they turn to Lintjer and can take what they need.
Sponsors for the pantry include 100 Men Who Give, the Swanson family, North Ottawa Realtors Association, Elks, St. John’s Lutheran Church, First Presbyterian Church, Grand Haven Area Youth Advisory Council and the Eagles.
“We’re so lucky to live in this community,” Lintjer said.
The food pantry currently needs items such as toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant for men and women, and bars of soap. Donations can be dropped off at Central High School, 106 S. Sixth St. in Grand Haven.
For more information, contact Kunde by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.