September 27, 2018
Lending a Helping Pan: CHSS Foods Class Shows
Support for Town Damaged by Florence
By SARAH ALLMAN
It was less than two
weeks ago that Hurricane Florence loomed over the East Coast with
weather models predicting disaster for cities across three states. When
Florence made landfall, it laid waste to southeastern North Carolina,
especially areas around Wilmington, New Bern, and the Down East region.
Though the storm may have not had a major effect on the island,
Hatteras locals knew they had to help since they have been in the same
For the past week or so, Hatteras Island locals and businesses have
been collecting food and supplies from all across the island and
sending it down the coast in hopes of lending a helping hand to
communities very geographically similar to ours. Though not everyone
could leave the island for an extended period of time, even students at
Cape Hatteras Secondary School (CHSS) wanted to do their part, because
they know what it’s like to have their home wrecked by a major weather
event. Led by teacher Evan Ferguson, students in CHSS’s foods class
spent three days preparing and packaging food to send down to students
at East Carteret High School in Beaufort, NC.
Beaufort is a small community located on the Inner Banks of North
Carolina. When Florence shifted south, Beaufort ended up in the worst
part of the storm, the northeast quadrant. They lost power, and were
subjected to nearly 90 mph winds and seven-foot storm surge - the
highest water levels recorded in the history of the town.
Although there are cities in need up and down the southern coast of
North Carolina, CHSS has a special relationship with East Carteret High
School (ECHS.) Three years ago, the two schools joined hands on a food
and fishing-based grant benefitting both schools, and they have enjoyed
collaborating with one another ever since.
Life-altering hurricane damage is certainly nothing new to CHSS
students who witnessed the storm surge from Hurricane Matthew. After
Matthew hit just two years ago, Ferguson’s class got to work making a
warm dish topped with a homemade roasted tomato sauce for Hatteras
locals. They were happy to get the opportunity to serve their community
and help lift sunken spirits. So when they heard about the tragedy in
Beaufort, students in Ferguson’s class knew just what to do to show
“My students love to help, so when I mentioned this project to them
they were very excited. Many of them have been in similar situations
with hurricane damage, so they can relate,” said Ferguson.
In just three days, all four of Ferguson’s classes came together to
prepare and package 18 loaves of individually sliced banana bread and
banana pumpkin bread for Florence victims at ECHS. Though students were
at different levels, and some had not even learned to measure yet, all
were eager to get involved. With a generous donation of bananas from
both Lee Robinson General Store and Conner’s Supermarket, the class
decided they wanted to utilize what they were given while also making a
nutritious snack that would freeze well.
“Banana bread is just something simple, but [it] is filled with
nutrients to keep them going. I know that coming together will be able
to get the affected people back on their feet in no time,” said student
With their hard work, Ferguson’s passion for hurricane relief, and the
help of local community member, Lynne Foster, over 150 slices of frozen
sweet treats will be sent down to ECHS as soon as students are back to
school. Students knew that food was not the only way to encourage our
southern neighbors, however. The treats will be accompanied with
handwritten notes of encouragement like, “our thoughts are with you,”
“be strong,” and “have a great day” in order to do provide a boost.
The efforts of Ferguson and her students just goes to show that
everyone can do their part, no matter their age. And in the process,
Ferguson’s class is learning not only the ways of cooking, but also of
helping their neighbors.
“I am glad to be able to make an impact and help out the ones who need it,” student Lexus Meekins said.