POINT PLEASANT — Point Pleasant Girl Scout Troop 258 recently completed their Bronze Award, with the sixth graders installing a food pantry on the property of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Oct. 31.
“In September 2019, the girls came up with a community problem of people in need of food and decided to name the project ‘Feeding the Local Community.’ They decided that they would learn about what organizations in the area were available to families in need,” troop co-leaders Amy Pearson Forsythe and Deborah Haggerty wrote in an email to The Ocean Star.
“They decided that they would like the final project to be a food pantry or blessing box because there is not a box like this in our area of Point Pleasant. From there they began to learn, research, talk to others, visit food pantries to get more information and basically reach out to the community to learn about this topic. This was all pre-COVID and once COVID hit our community the girls felt like this was needed even more than ever.”
According to the Girl Scouts of the Jersey Shore website, the Bronze Award is the highest honor Girl Scout Juniors [fourth and fifth grade girls] can achieve and through the project, they learn valuable skills including leadership, working with people in their community, and building confidence, “all while making the world a better place.” Each girl also has to complete a minimum of 20 hours toward this Bronze Award project.
The eight members involved, now Girl Scout Cadettes, have been working on this project since last year as fifth graders. Some of their tasks included research, visiting and donating to local food pantries, making stepping stones to go around the food pantry, shopping for items for the food pantry, and more.
“The process to get the pantry at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church [located at 708 Route 88] took some time. As a troop, the girls brainstormed as to where they would like it to be placed but also had to reach out to places to get permission to do so,” the troop co-leaders said.
“They learned that not every place was open to this idea but continued to move forward. The girls decided to ask Pastor [Christian L.] Schonberg as this church is their meeting place for their girl scout meetings. They set up a meeting time with the pastor and shared their ideas and obviously, he was on board.”
Upon research the girls ordered a cedar and pine Little Free Pantry, which features a door with a plexiglas window, and measures around 29x16x13.
“The girls decided to use their earnings from the nut sale and cookie sales to purchase a food pantry from online. They did an internet search of various pantries and prices and decided to order the pantry from Etsy, a company named Wall to Wall Works in Meridian, Mississippi,” Ms. Forsythe and Ms. Haggerty wrote.
“The girls bought the pantry unfinished. They went to House of Paints on Route 88 in Point Pleasant and picked out ‘beach colors.’” House of Paints, according to the troop co-leaders, surprised the girls and donated all the supplies and paint for the pantry.
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