Lego League students enhance Miller Middle School food pantry

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Miller Middle School Lego League students show some of the products available at the school’s food pantry. They have taken on a project to put unused foods from the Miller cafeteria into the
pantry. Pictured, from left, are students Meredith Codis, Jay Helton, Braden Stewart, Elazia Davison and Roan Jelken.

Six Miller Middle School eighth graders have found an elegant solution to help solve two challenges: food waste and food insecurity. 

After extensive research and brainstorming, Miller teacher Ann Jackson said the Lego League students started a project to take unused food from the Miller Middle School cafeteria and stock it in the school’s food pantry for students and families in need.

“I really liked the whole idea of giving back to the community,” said Braden Stewart, one of the six Lego League students who took on the project. 

Student Meredith Codis said she was happy the group found a way to help solve multiple issues. 

“I like the feeling that we’re doing something about it,” she said. 

One important goal of the project is to improve students’ and families’ knowledge of the Miller food pantry, including how to find it. 

“We took a survey to see who knew about the food pantry and 81 percent of (Miller students) said they did not know about it,” Braden said. 

In response, the students plan to put up signs showing where the pantry is located in the building. The signs will be put in the school’s vestibule areas to direct users toward the pantry, which is located inside the entrance on the school’s northwest side; it is accessible from the parking lot off of Boone Street. 

Another way the group plans to make the food pantry more accessible is by keeping it open two days per week from noon to 1:30 p.m. The students themselves will take turns attending to the pantry during those times. 

Braden, Meredith and fellow group members Jay Helton, Elazia Davison, Roan Jelken and Katelyn Schwartz said it feels good to give back to their school community.