Senior gives back to community

Alex Monson takes on position as Birdfeeder manager


Malaika Bigirindavyi

Senior Birdfeeder manager Alex Monson creates posters promoting the Birdfeeder. Birdfeeder gave out food to students in need for winter break.

Nicole Sanford

As a part of her community service class, senior Alex Monson joined the Birdfeeder, an organization that packs backpacks of food for Park students in need. Monson said she was elected Birdfeeder manager alongside three of her classmates.

Birdfeeder adviser Sophia Ross said more students applied for Birdfeeder manager than spots available, resulting in interested students going through an interview process to be selected.

“There were about 14 students who were interested in (being manager), however we can’t have 14 managers, so then we decided to have a interview process,” Ross said. “At that point, when there was going to be an interview process, it dwindled down to nine students (applying for manager).”

Monson said she feels passionate about the Birdfeeder because she needed help from similar food services in the past.

“(I chose Birdfeeder) because I had to use other food services when I was younger. Probably all the way from middle school to about junior to sophomore year, I’d always had problems having enough money for food, so I always had to use services like 

(Birdfeeder),” Monson said. “I felt like I should just repay that service back to the community since now I’m stable.”

Ross said she considered applicants motives when choosing who to select for the position.

“We sat down in a group and asked students why they wanted to be a Birdfeeder manager and what they hoped to contribute. I sat down with all of them and they got to kind of meet each other and hear each other’s thoughts and ideas,” Ross said. “Of those nine students, we chose four Birdfeeder managers.”

Monson said she enjoys her role as manager, coordinating and assembling Birdfeeder backpacks.

“(The managers) put everything together in the backpacks, we stock the shelves, we organize all the food based on expiration dates,” Monson said. “I like organization, so that’s one of my things, I really like organizing all the food and stuff and making sure everything’s nice and set.”

Ross said Monson’s passion for supporting those in need of food played a large role in her being given the 


“Having personal experience, how passionate she was about helping students in the community and really making them feel like it’s not a big deal to get food from a food shelf and if you need it (contributed to Monson becoming manager),” Ross said.

Monson said apart from her commitment to the Birdfeeder, she also volunteers at Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit organization dedicated to packing meals for malnourished children around the world.

“I also (volunteer at) Feed My Starving Children because hunger isn’t just a problem here, it’s a problem everywhere,” Monson said.

Ross said she values Monson’s perspective on helping students in need.

“(I partly chose Monson because) she’s actually been in this situation before, so she just kind of knows how we should go about approaching students, spreading the word,” Ross said. “Just her passion for making sure that students who are in need get what they need (is why I chose her).”

Monson said she hopes to minimize the stigma around needing food and asking for help.

“When I was younger, (needing food) was embarrassing, I didn’t want people to know like ‘oh she can’t even pay (for) her own food,’ and you don’t want kids to feel victimized because that’s something that really sticks with you,” Monson said. “I just wanted to be there to kind of lend a hand to whoever needs food or needs some type of outreach because I was in their shoes once.”