State Del. Kay Kory, who represents the 38th District of Virginia in the Greater Falls Church area, noted this week a food collection effort undertaken by students at Justice High School in her district.
“While Fairfax County is one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, District 38 is one of the most diverse communities, with many families living in poverty,” she said in a statement. “Six percent of Fairfax County residents live in poverty, but 30.4 percent of District 38 residents live with incomes below the poverty level. Food insecurity is a characteristic of those living in poverty. Hungry children struggle to learn. Studies have shown that food-insecure children lag behind more affluent children in cognitive development and general health. Sixty-seven percent of Justice High School students qualify for free-and-reduced lunches, but as in other schools across the country, there is food waste.”
She went on, “Beginning in 2016, Justice High School (then J.E.B. Stuart High School) students decided to collect packaged, unused food from the cafeteria every day and store it in a refrigerator donated by the PTSA. They place it in bags donated by Harris Teeter and make it available for students who wish to take food home. All bags are always taken. Justice students are the only high school students in the nation who collect food that would be wasted and distribute it in their own neighborhood. I have spoken to the student leaders who developed and manage this effort and congratulated them upon their entrepreneurial response to a serious neighborhood need.”