HUEYTOWN, Ala. (WIAT) – In 13 years as the child nutrition manager at Huetown Elementary School, Mary Lyn Parsons has seen, and fed, countless students. She considers it her contribution to their success.
But outside of school, some students get less food than others. And that’s something Parsons has seen more often than she’d like.
“Somebody may say, ‘Hey I’m still a little hungry,'” she said.
So when she found out about a program that could help those students, she decided to implement it at Hueytown Elementary.
It’s called a share table, and it’s a place where one student’s leftovers can become another’s extra helping. When students are finished eating, they can put uneaten, unopened items on the share table. Others who are still hungry can take them.
“We do have a great need of students who are constantly hungry that are wanting something to eat,” Hueytown Elementary School principal Cortney Slaughter said.
That’s why Slaughter was on board with the idea when Parsons presented it.
“If students come to us, and their basic needs are not met, if they have not had something to eat, if they have not slept, just like you and I, they are not going to be able to learn,” Slaughter said.
But because of the share table, those basic needs can be met. And when students have plenty of food, they can have plenty of success. And that makes Parsons happy.
“That’s what we strive for here at Hueytown Elementary,” she said. “We strive for each child to be able to do their best in any way we can contribute. Mine is food.”
That food, for students in need, can become the fuel they need for a brighter future.