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Hamilton Heights High School Construction and Engineering Department building ten new pantries for FeedingTeam.org

Hamilton Heights High School Students build ten Feeding team pantries this year (Photo courtesy of Mark Hall).

This school year sixty local high school students are learning construction skills while giving back to the community at the same time. Eric Fisher, Hamilton Heights Construction and Engineering Department Trades Teacher, thought it would be a great project to have his Construction Trades I class combine learning with serving the community. He reached out to Mark Hall, Co-founder of FeedingTeam.org and together they put a plan in place.

Mr. Fisher, (Fish) began by saying, “my wife and I were headed out to dinner when we saw one of these yellow food box pantries, I reached out to the Halls and here we are. If we’d have turned the other direction for dinner this project wouldn’t have happened.” Fish joked, “we can only build so many deer blinds” while explaining his idea to build Feeding Team pantries as one of this year’s projects to his students, “let’s build something this semester that helps saves lives in our community not take life.”

After conversations, detailed plans for the pantries were in Mr. Fisher’s hands. Next, using proceeds from last year’s Feeding Team Festival at Federal Hill Commons, $7,000 worth of new construction materials were available to the students to build the pantries. Fisher explained, “in today’s economic climate it’s rare for students to have real lumber and materials to build with, it is a special learning opportunity for my students.”

As the clients for the project the Hall’s meet with the students to review the progress of their project and discuss the importance of the work that they are doing for Hamilton County. The Hall’s addressed both classes explaining how their work will impact the community by facilitating the distribution of an additional 2,500 meals a month to hungry neighbors.

According to Mark Hall, “we were able to watch the students building the pantries and speak with several about career opportunities in skilled trades. This is a terrific example of the community coming together to accomplish special goals. The students learned construction, team building and project management skills and the community benefits with new food pantries to serve hungry neighbors. With these additional pantries we will be near 10,000 meals a month that the team provides. It is rewarding to see this return full circle. Neighbors supporting neighbors supporting neighbors.”

These students join with the seventy plus volunteers that serve Hamilton County every week providing thousands of no questions asked meals to hungry neighbors in Cicero, Arcadia, Noblesville, Fishers, Carmel, and Sheridan. To commemorate their service, each of these ten pantries will be autographed by the students that built them. In the future they can return to their pantry and remember their legacy of service to the community.

“It has been a wonderful experience, we appreciate the partnership with Hamilton Heights High School, Fish, Dr. Arrowood and the students, serving alongside them is especially rewarding,” Hall said. The Feeding Team www.feedingteam.org provides no questions asked, outdoor 24x7x365 free non-perishable food pantries with a focus on Hamilton County, Indiana