Image: Student-run grocery at Linda Tutt High School (Courtesy Anthony Love / Linda Tutt High School)

A small town in Sanger, Texas hopes to end the stigma surrounding food pantries while also helping their students…This student-run grocery store opened on the high school’s campus in November and supplies things like food, household items, and other day-to-day essentials we often times take for granted.  And the best part about this new campus addition, no money is needed!

Shoppers are allotted points based on their family size.  The more people within the household, the more points allotted.  All points are replenished each week and are extended to students, faculty, and even district residents.  The first-of-its-kind grocery store is open three days a week for students and faculty and an evening per week for other community residents.

Image: Student-run grocery at Linda Tutt High School (Courtesy Anthony Love / Linda Tutt High School)

The concept was brought to life by Paul Juarez, an executive director of First Refuge Ministries, who recognized the immense need in the area.  Over 40 percent of students in the district are “economically disadvantaged,” and over 3 percent are considered homeless.  He said, “if we can make our food pantries look like a grocery store and give people a card to shop with as they would at any other place, then we can keep dignity in people.”

Not only is this concept extremely helpful for underprivileged students and residents, it also helps promote positive behaviors.  The store is completely run by students which helps teach responsibility, work ethic, and the power of doing a good thing.  They’ve also implemented additional point opportunities that can be earned through positive referrals from teachers or through other on-campus jobs/responsibilities, although, no one in need is ever turned away despite their “points.”

We hope to see more of these pop up around the U.S! Get the full story here