Brownstown staff members take over school’s food pantry for the community


When a community food pantry at Brownstown Central High School stopped for a few months, staff members realized how much it’s needed.

Not only were area residents benefiting from the pantry, students received help, too.

Derrick Koch, a guidance counselor at the high school, and a few of his coworkers took action to revive the pantry.

Since then, it has helped about 70 families each month.

“I just think it’s necessary that we’re a part of the community,” Koch said. “I think it’s necessary from a Christian standpoint, too, that we do some service. I think that’s what God calls us to do. It’s really why I’m doing it. I think that’s why a majority of these (volunteers) are doing it, too, because it’s important to give back.”

Gleaners Food Bank contacted the school a few years ago to see if it was interested in hosting a food pantry. The school agreed because it didn’t come at any cost. Gleaners only asked for a room to house the pantry, and the organization provided the shelving, a refrigerator and a freezer.

Through an online ordering system, Koch chooses an allotment of food from Gleaners to stock the shelves.

From 4 to 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month, residents can stop by the high school to receive up to 20 or 25 items, including canned fruit and vegetables, cereal, peanut butter and jelly and frozen and refrigerated foods.

Read the full story in Wednesday’s Tribune and online at

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