Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

A Bank of Opportunities

Posted 12/11/2017 by Maia Freedberg

The shelves are stocked with a variety of food items to put into bags for students. photo by Andrew Villescas

Thomas Jefferson High School makes sure each student is cared for through the Food Bank Program.

The Spartan community is fortunate enough to be able to take care of each other in a number of ways throughout the year. A school-based food bank program offers students and their families help in times of need. “This program adds a boost to the school’s community,” Principal Mike Christoff explained, “we are very grateful for it.” The school’s Social Worker, Samanda Davis, can set the students up with this program. This program anonymously helps feed TJ students whose families are struggling to provide healthy and sufficient meals.

 The supplies, provided by the Denver Tech Center (DTC) Rotary Club through Food Bank of the Rockies, are stored in the back closet of Career Technical Education (CTE) Partnership Coordinator Danny Showers’ room. The Rotary Club receives grants from Rotary International to buy cases of food from Food Bank of the Rockies at a reduced rate to give to the students enrolled in the program. In order to provide this service through the school and through his classroom, Showers went through training and certification to have the room setup and maintained. The custodial staff and TJ’s kitchen staff help ensure that the standards of cleanliness and food storage are met so that the food is safe and sanitary.

In Showers’ room, there are shelves of canned food and dry goods for the students and their families. In order to get the food to the students in need, bags are packed by members of the Thomas Jefferson Leadership Class every Thursday. These bags are then ready to be picked up by the students on Fridays. The students take the bags home, store the food, and return the bag on Mondays; then the entire process starts again. Students in the program are given bags that are unidentifiable and untraceable back to the program so they are kept anonymous. Anyone who questions where their next meal will come from, or if it will even come at all, is welcome to receive help from the program or from Showers.

“We Rotarians have instituted a walk-in policy: if you are hungry and you want something to eat, walk in this door. What’s in that room, you can have,” Showers explained. Stable and sufficient meals are a necessity for a healthy lifestyle. Whether one is involved in the Food Bank program or not, the most important idea is that no one goes without food. The Food Bank program is an amazing addition to the community to ensure the health and happiness of the students and their families.