High School Grocery Store Is Making Headlines For Its Innovation

Nov 28, 2020 by apost team

On November 18th, 2020, Linda Tutt High School in Sanger, Texas partnered up with First Refuge Ministries, Texas Health Resources, and Albertsons to open a student-run grocery store which operates on a point system, instead of money.

A high school in Sanger, Texas has come up with a one-of-a-kind idea to help put extra food on the table for students and families while also teaching kids the value of hard work. 

Inside Linda Tutt High School is a grocery store. But it does not take money -- only good deeds. The store is fully run by students under manager Hunter Weertman, an 11th grader from the school. With the help of First Refuge Ministries, Texas Health Resources and Albertsons, the school, which is located about 60 miles northwest of Dallas, was able to put up a supermarket that operates on a points system.

“[Paul Juarez, executive director of First Refuge Ministries, and Dr. Ann Hughes, the director of student intervention for Sanger Independent School District] approached me about a grant that they wanted to apply for through Texas Health Resources, about possibly putting a grocery store inside a school,” says Principal Anthony Love.


According to FOX 10, the store aims to tackle food insecurities that have worsened amid the coronavirus pandemic, and is open for business from Mondays through Wednesdays for both students and staff within the district of the high school.

The store is open to the public on Tuesday evenings where they can pick up their groceries by the curb with the help of volunteers. The amount of points given to shop in the store is dependent on the number of family members in each household. Patrons can use the points to purchase food or home supplies from the store.

“Our students … they come from low socio-economic families,” says Love. He adds that this allows students the opportunity to shop for themselves and their families through hard work. Principal Love explains that students can earn points in various ways, examples include getting positive office referrals, doing chores around the building, and cleaning.

“The points were actually given by the students. So we walk through here and we decided that a can of green beans is one point,” shares Juarez.

The store also has daily specials. On their opening day, two cans of tuna cost just one point while ramen had a three for five points special deal.

Principal Love says that the school also partners with the BackPack Program on Fridays. The program aims to help provide food for children on the weekends in cities all across the United States. “Partnering with them, we’re able to provide additional food and supplies that the families may need,” explained the principal.

CBS DFW reports that this store would help students learn about sales and give them a taste of what the working world is like. Their duties include shelving food, taking inventory, and serving customers.

Thomas Muir, the mayor of Sanger, dropped by at the opening of the store and gave his two cents about the brilliant idea: “We all had our first jobs, whatever they were, and it taught you how to work, what you got for working. So, I think this will do that for them.”

Love shares this sentiment, saying, “I think the most exciting part of it is just teaching our kids job skills that they can carry with them as they graduate high school and move on into the world. Students are really the key piece to it,” he added.


Weertman told CBS DFW that he has already learned important lessons like “life skills,” and “how to spend your money wisely.”

CBS DFW says that the school will also organize food drives as well as act as a supplement to other food security programs in Sanger. The school hopes that this initiative will help to improve the programs, especially in rural areas.

Statistics from Economic Research Service (ERS) from the United States Department of Agriculture showed that in 2019, food insecurity rates are highest for households with incomes that come below the poverty line as well as single-mother households. According to ERS, 13.6% of households with children were affected by food insecurity. The prevalence of food insecurity varies across states, “due to both the characteristics of the their populations and to State-level policies and economic conditions.”

“The estimated prevalence of food insecurity during 2017-19 ranged from 6.6 percent in New Hampshire to 15.7 percent in Mississippi (data for 2017-19 were combined to provide more reliable statistics at the State level),” the report states.

What do you think about this idea? Do you have something similar in your community? Tell us all about it in the comments, we'd love to hear about it!

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