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Legion funds freezer for Needs Room

Thursday, 21 December 2017. Posted in Shootin' the Breeze

Legion funds freezer for Needs Room
Pincher Creek Legion representatives present a cheque to members of the Needs Project to fund the purchase of a freezer. From left are Matthew Halton High School principal Tara Tanner, Legion president John Morin, teacher Susan Robinson and Legion secretary-treasurer Maggie Christians.   Photo by Georgia Dale

Legion funds freezer for Needs Room

By Georgia Dale

Pincher Creek Legion’s Maggie Christians and John Morin visited Matthew Halton High School on Dec. 6 to present the branch’s donation of $750, which has allowed the Needs Room to purchase a freezer. They were given a tour by principal Tara Tanner and teacher Susan Robinson.

The Needs Room project, designed by school staff, helps address needs for nutritious meals, snacks and weather-appropriate clothes and footwear. It aims to destigmatize the hardships that some students face, as well as improving their access to the basics so they can continue with the important business of learning.

Principal Tanner explained that some teachers had seen a growing number of students requiring assistance and were able to help them by gathering donations from the school booster club, a parent-run fundraising body.

The project grew as donations increased from parents and from Castle Mountain Resort, which saves unclaimed clothing items from its lost-and-found.

Students in foods class stock the new freezer with healthy, microwaveable meals as part of their curriculum. The Needs Room is serving the dual purpose of allowing students to practise their cooking skills while providing meals for less fortunate students.

Principal Tanner was excited to outline Phase 2 of the project: a passive solar greenhouse will be installed in the spring in order to grow nutritious fruits and vegetables for Needs Room meals.

Here is where the project becomes truly intercurricular. The greenhouse was designed by students in science class and built by students in construction class. Greenhouse production will be managed co-operatively between foods and biology students.

Principal Tanner says the project co-ordinators have made sure it will sustain itself, as well as the students who need it, for a long time to come.

Currently the Needs Room provides roughly three to five meals per day. The need, she says, appears higher now than staff have ever noticed before, though thanks to this project both students and faculty are better equipped to manage.

Anyone can access clothing, meals or snacks of fresh fruit and granola bars — no questions asked — by contacting any of the school staff members.