Cedar Heights kids run food bank for community

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by ALLEN SCHAUFFLER / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on June 29, 2011 at 3:01 PM

COVINGTON, Wash. -- At Cedar Heights Middle School in Covington, there's a constant stream of people going in and out of Room 308.

Today, it's students, donating canned and dried goods to their school's food bank. That's right, Room 308 is a food bank inside the school.

"Our kids need it, our families need it," said January Agnew-Parks, who came up with the idea two years ago to open the food bank there. "Without having food, they can't do well in school."

Cedar Heights principal Heidi Maurer sees the need every day. In her school, 40 percent of students are on free or reduced price lunch programs.

"We're seeing the impact in the classroom," she said. "When our kids are coming in and saying, 'I haven't eaten,' or 'I didn't have food last night.'"

Room 308 is located near a back door to the school, down a hallway, so people who need it can come and go without others taking much notice. Melodi Wheeler picks up a few items there every two weeks.

"Generally toward the end of the month," Wheeler said, "is when it's the hardest."

Wheeler also has a daughter at Cedar Heights. She said, until recently, she never thought someone who donated, like herself, would be the one needing a hand.

"It's nice to know it's there," Wheeler said. "You can't put a price on it. Knowing that there's people in the community who want to give back."

The students who volunteer time in Room 308 say that's exactly what they're doing.

"Quite a few kids at my school don't have houses," said Ahmed Abdulaimy. "I'm fortunate enough to say that I do, but some kids don't, so it makes me feel really good to have an opportunity to help."

One bag, one can, one box, one family at a time -- Cedar Heights is a school making a difference.

If you know someone who's making a difference in your community, we'd like to hear your stories. Tell us about who's going above and beyond the call of duty to help others by emailing makingadifference@king5.com

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