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CHS Girls varsity soccer, courtesy of CHS Yearbook
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January 29, 2024

Food for Families: Connecting the Camas Community Through FRC

CHS+student+helps+transport+food+donations+to+those+in+need+at+Stuff+the+Bus%2C+courtesy+of+CHS+Yearbook
CHS student helps transport food donations to those in need at Stuff the Bus, courtesy of CHS Yearbook

Every month, each student and family receives an email about donations for the Family Resource Center (FRC). The FRC aims to ensure that every child and family has food, clothing, hygiene products and school supplies to use. However, many Camas High School (CHS) students are unaware of the FRC’s existence and its value to the Camas community, nor do they realize the differences between the FRC and Stuff the Bus. 

“I don’t know a lot about the FRC. I think that many people don’t know much about it because they are financially stable, so [the FRC’s services] don’t apply to them,” CHS junior Lucie Janouskova said.

Stuff the Bus volunteers loading trucks with food donations, courtesy of CHS Yearbook

The FRC is not as well known by students as other organizations. A reason for this could be a lack of advertisement in the community and the competition behind it. The Stuff the Bus event encourages students to bring in as many non-perishable goods as possible to be the class with the most donations and win prizes. The FRC does not do anything competitive. Instead, it relies on people reading their emails.

Brenda Schallberger, the FRC coordinator, alerts the community of the resources needed at the center through the ParentSquare newsletter. Schallberger, who has a master’s degree in human resources and a bachelor’s degree in education, chose this job because of her passion for helping children and the community. Being the FRC coordinator allows her to work closely with Camas School District (CSD) staff to ensure anyone who needs help can access it. Approximately 300 different households frequented the FRC last year alone. 

“The [ParentSquare] newsletter attracts donations on a monthly basis because we describe [what resources are] most needed at that time. Those most-needed items are delivered by a steady stream of community families who read the newsletter and respond with great generosity,” Schallberger said.

“I have heard about the FRC and know that they do a sock drive every year. I think that the FRC helps families get access to resources and helps make sure everyone has an opportunity to experience a good education,” CHS junior Gracee Clary said.

FRC Coordinator Brenda Schallberger, courtesy of the Columbian

Students like Clary know the FRC program and the different drives they run yearly to gather specific resources. However, many students were unaware of the monthly email sent out on ParentSquare that outlines what items are most in demand at the FRC.

Stuff the Bus is another worthy cause that aims to deliver non-perishable items to families in need around the community. While there is no partnership between the FRC and Stuff the Bus, both seek to ensure everyone in our community can access anything they need. Stuff the Bus is a school fundraiser that runs throughout the district in which students bring in non-perishable items for the community.

“Although the Camas FCR does not directly benefit from the donations, other worthy causes in our city do, and that’s alright with me! I don’t see ourselves needing or wanting to compete with other agencies, which are also important resources for our district’s families,” Schallberger said.

Overall, the FRC is a great organization that strives to provide critical resources to struggling people. The program aims to ensure that everyone gets a meal and clothes and that students get school supplies. That way, students can continue to have the same experience as everyone else, regardless of their financial circumstances.

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Amy-Leigh Lewis, Staff Writer

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