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The Geyser

Nourishing Minds : National Honor Society and Livingston Food Resource Center work to feed Park High


Park High students will soon enjoy a new addition to the school: a Snack Shack! National Honor Society advisor Laurie Knuchel and NHS President Victoria Gasparakis are teaming up with the Livingston Food Resource Center to open the Snack Shack in room D-7. The Shack will be open before, during, and after school from 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.. It will be staffed by NHS members and contain informational pamphlets and resources to connect students to the Food Resource Center for a lasting solution to solve their food insecurity.
Knuchel, Gasparakis, and several FRC workers have spent the past few weeks transforming the room, which previously served as book storage for the English teachers and clothes storage for the recent NHS Winter Clothing Drive. This blank canvas is ready to be transformed into a cozy coffee-shop environment, outfitted with donated furniture and shelves of freshly made meals, baked goods, and snacks.
The pantry hopes to provide every student at Park High facing food insecurity or hunger with healthy, nutritious, meals to eat during the school day and take home over the weekend. Additionally, if students are in need of a pick-me-up they can stop by and take their pick. “The purpose of the Snack Shack is to make food and other items accessible to students so that they can get the items they need anonymously,” NHS Advisor Knuchel says.
After all, food-insecure children do not only face hunger- their performance in and outside of school are affected as well. According to the American Youth Policy Forum, kids who do not have a reliable food source “lag” behind their peers in “cognitive, emotional, and physical development.” They are also significantly more likely to have health complications and issues than those with a constant food source. Not only does their physical health suffer, but food-insecure kids are more likely to suffer with mental illness and have an overall poorer quality of life.
Knuchel hopes that the Snack Shack will be open “by March 4 initially for its soft opening.”

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