Birdfeeder starts new year off strong

Class aims to fill more food requests

Rachel Arkis

After a slow start nearly two months into the school year, the Birdfeeder, Park’s student run food shelf, is back up and running. According to Birdfeeder advisor Abby Lugo, customization is going to be an important aspect of this year’s program.

“This year, we’re really trying to figure out what the students actually need,” Lugo said. “We don’t want to have to assume what kind of food our students will request and instead, we want them to be able to choose so that we don’t end up giving away food that isn’t wanted.”

For senior Hawa Mohamed, joining the Birdfeeder has given her a chance to help out the Park community and participate in something bigger.

“The Birdfeeder is an organization that helps people in need and I think that’s important,” Mohamed said. “For the students that need food, we can provide it. I like knowing that by participating, I’m helping keep it running.”

According to Lugo, despite a decline in food requests over the past couple of years, the Birdfeeder is preparing for an increased number this year.

“About 40% of students at Park qualify for a free and reduced lunch, and because of COVID-19 the government was paying for these meals but now they aren’t this year,” Lugo said. “Because of this, we did see our need decline slightly over the last couple of years because students and their families were getting supplemented in other places. Now we think that the requests will come back and that we can serve our student population even better.”

According to senior Ella Wasvick, working for the Birdfeeder has been an opportunity for her to learn more about feeding the community. 

“I knew I wanted to learn more about it, so I joined,” Wasvick said. “This year, (I’m looking forward to) making a change for the better.”

Lugo said that due to the accessibility of the food shelf within the school, it makes it easier to fulfill requests for both students and their families.

“The fact that we can serve students on site is what makes (the Birdfeeder) so special, you don’t have to go anywhere extra besides school and it’s not limited to just students.”

Food request forms can be found in room B226, student services and online. For more information regarding the Birdfeeder, stop by room B226.