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Feed a Highlander

Posted on: January 16, 2017

by Hannah Welling 

    The person sitting next to you in your second bell may not have a plan for lunch today, and you didn’t even notice. Oak Hills isn’t enrolled in the National School Lunch Program, so students who can’t bring a lunch to school go hungry. But there is a Program focused on changing that. Feed a Highlander is part of the Adopt-A-Student Fund at OHHS and is a program that has existed for years with the mission to provide students with opportunities and materials they would not otherwise be able to afford. Mrs. Sullivan, a main advocate for the Feed a Highlander Program and leader of Challenge Day, explains, “After our Challenge Day 2015, students raised the question ‘Why doesn’t Oak Hills High School participate in the Free and Reduced Lunch government program?’” Students pushed to provide an account that would provide lunches to those students who needed help. Therefore, the Feed a Highlander program was created with that mission in mind. Students are placed on this program based on recommendations from teachers, counselors and principals. Parents and students can request help as well.

    Students on the program receive $3 a day to purchase lunch in the cafeteria. The money is loaded directly onto their student account/student ID. If a student was present each day of the school year and used the $3 given each day, it would cost $530 to feed one student for an entire year. There are currently 44 students enrolled in the program; about 1.5% of the student body. The school been very fortunate enough to receive donations from several OHHS clubs and many private individuals to cover this cost. OHLSD staff have donated portions of their paychecks through a payroll deduction program. The school also has an option for people in the community to donate through EZPay.

    Keep in mind this isn’t enough to satisfy Oak Hills students. At the beginning of December, red boxes reading “Feed a Highlander” were placed near each register with a slot in the top for lunch-goers to place their extra change and donations into the box. The student body collaboratively worked within their Tartan Times to come up with another way to bring awareness to the program. On December 8th, students purchased colored balloons in Tartan Time based on their grade to fill Mr. Stoddard’s office with on December 14th. The balloons were meant to show principal Stoddard just how many people care about the Feed a Highlander program. Gabrielle Buccino, a junior who played a large role in developing the “positive prank” explains, “All of the proceeds collected will be going towards Feed a Highlander. Really, it is just about becoming more aware that many students in the school are unhappy with the thought of their classmates going hungry.” Hopefully this will induce some positive change within every level of Oak Hills, from students all the way up to the board, in order to get Oak Hills School District on the National School Lunch Program.

    There are others that still need help. If you know a student who needs help or you need help, please contact a counselor.