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Hawk Pantry aims to help students who are food insecure

Victoria Wuerfel

Victoria Wuerfel

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It may not be immediately apparent, but some students at Hayfield are struggling to get enough food every day. English teacher Victoria Wuerfel began realizing that some of her own students would intentionally walk around during their lunch time to avoid being surrounded by the food they couldn’t afford, so she started to bring in food for her class and noticed how many students were actually lacking food.

Other teachers around the school, such as chemistry teacher Julia Riley and English teacher Matthew Smith, started to notice the same problems within their classes, so Riley and Smith partnered with Wuerfel to figure out how to help their students get their basic needs met.

Thus, the Hawk Pantry was created to help students who are not able to buy items others use on a daily basis. In addition to food donations, the club also accepts toiletries and other essentials.  

Although the Hawk Pantry became an official club this school year, Wuerfel’s students helped plan a snack drive at the end of the last school year, which allowed students to go to their subschool during the school day if they needed a snack.

Despite the success of the Hawk Pantry, some students may be going to the pantry for the wrong reasons. The pantry was created to help those who are not financially stable, but there have been reports of some students going to the pantry simply because they want free food. The Hawk Pantry club members are hoping that students in need of food will go to their counselors, or teachers will start noticing the students who seem to be short on food and recommend them for a pantry pass.

The next Hawk Pantry food drive will be on Thursday, Nov. 15, for which the club will be accepting preferably microwavable food donations that students can heat up in the cafeteria. Items will be collected during SOAR 4, and the class with the largest donation will win a donut party.

The club is also looking for high school volunteers who are willing to help either after school or during SOAR time. The volunteers would be asked to help prepackage a morning snack and lunch, so students who have pantry passes can grab a bag for the school day or even for the weekend. The next meeting is on October 23 if students interested in helping or learning more about this club.

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Hawk Pantry aims to help students who are food insecure