Feed The Northland

Destiny Mattingly

Gazing into the main entrance of Winnetonka High School on a Wednesday morning you spot paper sacks lining the walls filled with nonperishables. Do you ever wonder who puts those together? For whom they are given to?

According to statistics in the Washington Post, one in seven children go to school hungry each day. These are the same kids that ride the bus with you. These are the same kids sitting with you in class, six feet apart that is. These kids are among the faces you pass in the hallway between classes. Never even giving them a second thought.

It’s a crazy thought when you think about it. How can all these students appear well who look like they’re doing just fine where they are having all this unfortunate stuff going on in their lives? Some people hide it because they’re afraid of what other people will say.

“In the past three months we have had five staff members and their families help  over 20 Tonka students and siblings and six Park Hill students,” leadership advisor and Social Studies teacher Sarah Green said.

Every Tuesday between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.,  students from all grades and all different schools come to Winnetonka to pack the bags.

“The most impactful moments have been when students invite their siblings and friends to join them while they volunteer ,“ Green said.

Feed the Northland works in partnership with Harvesters which is the community food network. Harvesters provides the food, and volunteers pack the bags of food each week.

“When I first started doing this it was about the community service hours, but as I continue to do it, I noticed the impact that there was, ” senior Sierra Mattingly said. “It’s an amazing feeling when you notice that counting out cans and boxes of macaroni and cheese is helping dozens of families in your community.”

Board President Michael Atchinson states the organization’s mission as, “Feed Northland kids’ sole purpose is to solve hunger in Clay [county] and in Platte County. “

Michael has served on the boards of many local nonprofit organizations that focus on poverty and education.

Winnetonka’s goal is to meet the needs of its student body and their families. Feeding the northland is one of the many ways Winnetonka High School is working to achieve this goal.