Fremont-Mills High School students

Fremont-Mills High School students Chloe Johnson and Alex Perrin have helped organize a program that ensures deliveries of groceries and other items to at-risk individuals in rural communities during the COVID-19 crisis. The program is open to residents living in the southwest Iowa school district.

TABOR, Iowa — Like high school students throughout the country, Chloe Johnson and Alex Perrin were shocked when they learned their school was going to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But they realized there were things they could do to help others.

“I was talking to my parents, and my grandma lives in Council Bluffs, and we talked about needing to get her groceries and other things,” Perrin says. “I thought this might give students something to do while we’re out of school.”

Perrin and Johnson, a senior and junior, respectively, are students at Fremont-Mills High School here.

“We wanted to do this through our student council,” Johnson says. “Our grocery store in Tabor closed recently, but we do have a Dollar General, and we’re willing to drive to Glenwood or Sidney or Shenandoah for people who are at-risk and need something.”

Their efforts will focus on residents of the Fremont-Mills district, which includes the communities of Tabor, Thurman, Randolph and Bartlett in southwest Iowa.

“I walked around Thurman one day and gave my number to people in case they need help,” Perrin says.

“We’re collecting the names of people we think might need some help,” Johnson says.

She says while the program is just in the beginning stage, several students have volunteered to help out.

“We’ve gotten quite a bit of positive feedback from people in the community,” Johnson says. “We’re willing to do what we can to help anyone who needs it.”

At-risk residents in the Fremont-Mills school district may contact Johnson at

How are people in your communities reaching out to help those in need? Contact IFT Publications Editor Jeff DeYoung at to share your stories of how rural communities are coming together to help one another.

Jeff DeYoung is livestock editor for Iowa Farmer Today, Missouri Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.