At a grocery store inside of Linda Tutt High School in Sanger, Texas, you don’t pay with money but good deeds, such as cleaning around the school building.
“It’s not something that you see every day in a school building,” school principal Anthony Love said. “I think a big part of it is about empowering our students because many of them come from low socioeconomic families that need just a little extra support with food.”
The school, located about 60 miles northwest of Dallas, partnered with local nonprofits to help kids, who have been made increasingly food insecure because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The store is open Monday through Wednesday for students and staff within the school district.
“It’s a way for students to earn the ability to shop for their families,” Love added. “Through hard work you can earn points for positive office referrals. You can earn points for doing chores around the building or helping to clean.”
Love said he was approached by Paul Juarez, executive director of First Refuge Ministries and Dr. Ann Hughes, the director of student intervention for Sanger Independent School District.
“They approached me about a grant that they wanted to apply for through Texas Health Resources, about possibly putting a grocery store inside a school,” Love said.
Beyond anything the principal said he sees the grocery store as an educational tool.
“I think the most exciting part of it is just teaching our kids job skills that they can carry with them as they graduate high school and move on into the world,” Love said. “Students are really the key piece to it.”