Technology and a caring community will help ensure that hungry students at Berkmar HS always have enough to eat. The school is teaming up with Verii, a snack and refreshment company, to launch a mobile app that will track inventory in the school’s Community Assistance and Resource Effort (CARE) Closet. The CARE Closet is a “confidential food pantry” stocked with non-perishable food for high school students who don’t have enough food to eat at home, but are too embarrassed to ask for help. In addition to tracking inventory, the technology also will monitor when supplies are taken from the closet and alert the Atlanta Community Food Bank which will assist with restocking the closet.
Twins Lauren and Steven Seroyer launched the first CARE Closet in 2015 at their school, Peachtree Ridge HS. The two students have since graduated but not before earning a substantial community grant and spreading the idea to other Gwinnett high schools. Today, CARE Closets are in place in several Gwinnett schools, including Berkmar, Central Gwinnett, Lanier, Discovery, and Meadowcreek high schools, with more in the planning stages. And, the concept has spread to schools in Alabama, West Virginia, and New Jersey.