The Vanden Care Closet

Evalyn Hoffman, News Reporter '23

Over the years care closets have been implemented across schools nationwide. Care closets are for students whose parents can’t properly feed them and for students who cannot sustain themselves by providing clothes and food. Every year care closets serve 21 million meals to nearly 110,000 children. In 2013 8.6 million students experienced food insecurity. As of currently 44% of students have free/reduced lunches (All Things Considered, podcast). The school recently started its own care closet. The school counselors had a survey for all grades and asked about their food insecurities. It was determined that the number of students who reported food insecurity was alarmingly high. When the results came back it was decided to start the care closet.   

 Students will have access to what it is they need; all they have to do is ask their counselor. During an interview with Ms. Beltramo, she stated “We will be mainly functioning on donations and drives.” Once the food drives start up and fill the closet, councilors will start allowing students to enter. Even now, they are allowing students to enter and take what they need from their limited supplies. All the students must do is ask. Everything is confidential, who you are, what you take. All private.   

Ms. Beltramo continues with, “Our school currently works with ‘End 68 Hours of Hunger’. Every Monday students who will need food for the coming weekend inform their counselor, from there an advocate from the program comes every Wednesday/Thursday to find out how many bags of meals are needed in order to feed all of the students. These bags provide two breakfasts, two lunches, and three dinners to feed these students until the school week starts again.”  This is in place to help the students who can’t provide for themselves.   

Ms. Beltramo then went on to explain about our care closet. “Our care closet will provide meals, as all usual care closets do, but we will also be providing clothes, like coats and shoes, hygiene products, and school supplies, notebooks, bookbags, books, etc.” Along with providing food they are also providing house hold essentials and school supplies. Making Vanden feel less like a school and more like a home, a family.