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14-year-old collects 1700 cans for school food bank, raises awareness

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — It’s your freshmen year of high school and thousands of things are running through your mind as you enter the “big house.”

But for one student at Huntington High School, the thing on her mind is making sure her fellow students have access to what they need to succeed. She is a Girl Scout who’s wise beyond her years, putting others first, while spreading awareness about an issue affecting so many in our area.

“If kids are going to come to school, then they need something to go home with,” said Rubee Bowen, a freshman at Huntington High School who is also a Girl Scout in Troop 328212.

If there’s something Rubee doesn’t take for granted, it’s the feeling of a full stomach.

“She was very diligent and, and very articulate about what she was trying to do. She worked very hard,” said Jamie McElroy, a teacher at Huntington High School.

As part of a Girl Scout project, Rubee wanted to address food insecurity at her school by collecting items for “Cliff’s Closet,” the high school’s food pantry. It was named after a retired bus drive who used to look after kids in need.

Rubee went knocking door to door with bag-and-tags, which are grocery bags with a little note explaining to others what you’re trying to do and why you’re doing it.

“In a short time, she is really just sort of gang busters, gone out and got all kinds of things,” said McElroy. “I was amazed at all the stuff they brought in.”

In just 2 short weeks, Rubee collected 1,700 items and filled her mom’s SUV. But Rubee is reluctant to take the credit for her idea. What does get her attention is how a community worked together for this cause.

“it’s just like they wanted to help their community, so they did it,” she said.

Rubee wants all students to know that “Cliff’s Closet” will always be stocked for them and they should never feel ashamed to use it when they need it. She believes no student should go hungry.

If you’d like to donate to Cliff’s Closet, you can contact Huntington High School at (304) 528-6400.

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