“Bird Feeder” to take flight in Park High School

Community service classes launch new food shelf

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“Bird Feeder” to take flight in Park High School

Khadija Charif

Khadija Charif

Khadija Charif

Ivy Kaplan

Cans of food line the shelves, backpacks await being filled to the brim, and orange boxes are positioned around the school waiting for donations, all of which to help students in need.

Students in the community service classes at the high school are starting an in-school food shelf, “The Bird Feeder.”

Community service teacher, Sophia  Ross, first came up with the idea to start the food shelf based off of the Spring Lake Park school district.

“My kids go to Spring Lake Park High School, and I believe their special education classes do something similar,” she said. “I thought it would be a great activity for our community service classes here at the high school, seeing as though our populations are very similar between those two school districts.”

According to the St. Louis Park School Nutrition Department, a total of 34% of student are on free and reduced lunch within the high school.

Senior Jenna Behnken, manager of “The Bird Feeder”, believes that overall, students are unaware of the amount of people these programs sustain.

“It’s weird, because when you look around, you wouldn’t normally think that so many kids need so much help,” she said.  “It’s really eye-opening to realize that not that many people can afford food, and that there is a big need for this.”

While approximately one third of park high school students utilize free and reduced lunch during the school week, Ross claims that many lack food when they are at home over the weekend. This is the main goal of “The Bird Feeder”.

In order to achieve this, community service students will collect food and assembling backpacks for students to take home over the weekend, ensuring nourishment for these students.

Community service student, junior Colin Monicatti believes this will have a significant impact on the student community and learning.

“By doing this, we can make sure that kids who aren’t getting food during the weekends can come to school healthy and happy,” he said. “It will help their learning too, because they’re actually being fed when they’re not at school.”

Sophomore Enjoli Goodwyn agrees with Monicatti, and thinks the introduction of “The Bird Feeder” will have a positive effect on the high school.

“It will allow many more students to come to school on Monday feeling much nicer and more energized,” she said.

Behnken said that it is very easy and encouraged students to get involved.

“Anyone can come and donate food at any time, otherwise we’re looking for backpacks because we need packages for kids to carry out the food,” Behnken said. “Anyone wanting to can donate gift cards so families can go and actually buy food.”

Students can bring donations to the community service classroom, B226, otherwise collection boxes are available in the media center and student office for students who want to donate.

 

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