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Harrison students assist with food bank

Photo Provided Harrison Central High School students pose for a photo after helping out with Wednesday’s Mid-Ohio Mobile Food Bank at the Stephenson Center in Cadiz. The students will continue to volunteer to assist the food bank distribution the fourth Wednesday of the month for the remainder of the school year. Pictured in the back, from left, are Taylor Cope, Hunter Boals, Kaden Jurosko, Cabot Arbaugh, Lucas Thomas, Jace Madzia, Grayden Sproull and coach Anthony Hayes. Pictured in the middle are Leah Cottrell and Emma Fischer. In the front, from left, are Treston Nemeth, Madelyn Butler, Nadia Tweedy, Kaylyn Ledger, Cami Basich, Cameron Aughinbaugh, Haley Dunlap and Carley Best.

CADIZ — A group of high school seniors is helping out with the Mid-Ohio Mobile Food Bank distribution, hosted monthly by the Harrison Hills City School District.

More than a dozen Harrison Central High School students volunteered to lend a hand with Wednesday’s community food distribution, which served around 150 families. The recent food bank event was the first time they have been able to participate since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jenny Gibson, administrative assistant for the school district and program coordinator, had nothing but kind words and praise for the students’ willingness to assist with the program.

“They are awesome kids. … They actually enjoy doing this, and it’s not just getting out of class, they enjoy helping people. We’re just so proud of them,” she said.

Gibson said for the last couple years it has only been herself and a couple of other adults administering the program. She said they were in desperate need of assistance, as the distributions require a lot of work.

“It’s a physically tasking thing to pull off,” she said.

The food bank distributes items to many residents in Harrison County, helping to unload the food once the truck arrives and reload the items into people’s vehicles. She said she was elated when the school began enlisting the help of students once again. And the students were more than happy to oblige.

The students receive community service hours toward graduation requirements for their participation.

Principal Ken Parker said the program acts as a great opportunity for students to give back to their community.

“It’s great for the kids to give back. That’s been our whole goal with kids helping out with the food bank. In the past, we had different student groups help out, and that’s what we’re still doing,” he said, adding the previous members of the school basketball team, football team, FFA and others would volunteer to help out.

“It’s a real learning experience to give back to the community. It’s really nice to see that we’re working with our own community and providing a good service within the community, and the kids enjoy helping out.”

Parker said the Wellness Program supervisor and community family liaison, football coach Anthony Hayes, did an excellent job in helping to reimplement the student volunteers for the program.

The school district hosts the Mid-Ohio Mobile Food Bank the fourth Wednesday of each month and distributes food to those in need. Tents and tables are set up as students help to unload the food truck, sort the items and distribute them to residents. She said they did an excellent job and had positive attitudes while they worked.

“They love it. They enjoy it and enjoy interacting with clients. It’s just a positive experience for them. They’re just a great bunch of kids,” she said.

Gibson said the students will continue to assist during each of the upcoming food bank dates for the remainder of the school year.

The county-wide food bank is held monthly at the John W. Stephenson Center in Cadiz. Registration begins at 8 a.m. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services guidelines are used for eligibility determination.

The next food bank is set for Oct. 26.

For more information about the food bank or eligibility, call Gibson at 740-942-7806.

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