Carlinville students create community closet for students in need

    Carlinville students create community closet for students in need

    According to Feeding America, one out of every six children in Illinois is struggling with hunger.

    Officials with Carlinville School District said there are a number of low income families in Carlinville that are struggling to make ends meet.

    The students at Carlinville High School saw a need in their community and with the help of some wood and student donations, they have transformed what was once an empty hallway into a community closet full of necessary items.

    "It's phenomenal for our families and students that need this and are able to be provided with food and hygiene products and shoes,” Carlinville High School social worker Jessica Ryan said.

    A majority of the items in the community closet came from the students for their peers.

    "The number of donations that we got that were directly from the students just amazed me and made my heart melt,” Carlinville High School counselor Jennifer Enrietta said.

    According to Feeding America, in Illinois there are close to half a million children struggling with hunger.

    Officials in Carlinville said they are seeing a similar trend.

    "Not only as staff have we seen our demographics change and the need become greater, the students see that and they have become more invested in how they can help too," Ryan said.

    After the student came up with the idea for a community closet, they got to work creating it.

    "We asked our shop students, our construction classes to build shelves. So they came up with plans,” Enrietta said. “Our maintenance people work together to come up with plans."

    Not only is there a need in Carlinville, but also around the state.

    According to the Illinois Commission to End Hunger, more than 17 percent of Illinois children live in poverty.

    Officials at Carlinville schools hope they are doing what they can to help.

    "I got a phone call the other day from a parent of a student who came in and utilized some of the clothing and she was very, very thankful," Enrietta said.

    School officials hope to soon have students paint the walls and wood in the community closet to show off the school pride they already feel when they walk into the community closet.

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