High school-run grocery store for food insecure students and families takes good deeds as payment

By Kelly McCarthy for Goodmorningamerica.com

One high school is helping fight food insecurity with a student-run grocery store that uses paying it forward as capital.

During a particularly difficult year for millions struggling to make ends meet and get food on the table, Linda Tutt High School in Sanger, Texas, partnered with a local nonprofit to ensure students and their families have the necessities that they might not otherwise be able to afford.

Principal Anthony Love told ABC News the idea initially came from First Refuge Ministries, a nonprofit that approached the school with the idea “because there’s been a need identified in our community.”

“It didn’t take me long to see all the possibilities that the store could bring, especially with it being run by students,” he said. “The other aspect [is] giving back to the community during these challenging times — even if it’s just a little.”

The shelves are filled with food products from the pantry and dry goods to fresh produce and household items that are all delivered by truck on pallets from First Refuge Ministries. It purchases the goods using funds from Texas Health Resources, which earlier this year awarded $300,000 for the Texas Health Community Impact program to address hunger in the Sanger Independent School District.

The store, which is open three days a week, operates on a point system that gives each student and staff in the district a set number of points based on the size of their household. Students with more family members at home get more initial points to shop.

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