What began as a student food pantry four years ago has expanded into much more. The Cavalier Closet at Chillicothe High School is a medium-sized room filled with canned and boxed food, refrigerated produce, personal hygiene products, and cleaning supplies.
According to CHS Guidance Counselor Sarah Hawthorne, students are welcome to these items.
"Anybody can come in at anytime," said Hawthorne. "Students can 'shop' for items; they just need to let their school counselor know what they need."
Hawthorne clarified that "shopping" for items simply means that students can select what they need -- at no cost to them. Guidance Office staff members will then bag the items and discreetly deliver them to students, she said.
Guidance Secretary Erica Barnes estimated that 20-25 bags are delivered per week. These bags are intended not only for the students but also their families.
"If there's ever a need we don't know about that isn't in there, students can just let us know, and we are happy to provide for it," said Hawthorne.
The Cavalier Closet started in the 2015-2016 school year, and it is stocked through donations from CHS student organizations, the Chillicothe City School District, and community partners.
Currently, the Cavalier Closet is preparing its annual "Thanksgiving Care Box" project. The care box consists of turkey breast, mashed potatoes, stuffing, vegetables, and plastic-ware, and its donated to students in need of a Thanksgiving-Day meal.