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Park High School students launch 'Ranger Station' pantry that offers free food and provisions

Students with the National Honor Society worked with the Livingston Food Resource Center to open the free pantry at school.
Posted at 6:21 AM, Mar 22, 2024

LIVINGSTON — Park High School is serving its school community with Ranger Station essentials, a program providing free food and provisions to students who need it.

"So, the Livingston Food Resource Center over the past year saw a huge influx in families who were using our services. I was seeing these kids here, especially that were working concessions for basket games and things, that we just knew were hungry," says Cynthia Daniels of Livingston Food Resource Center.

After the center brought the idea of a food pantry to school administrators, students with the National Honor Society (NHS) spearheaded the initiative.

"Their involvement is really what makes this thing go. These kids sacrifice extra time, they go out of their way in order to make themselves available to do the things that need to be done," says Laurie Knuchel, Park High School English teacher and NHS Advisor.

According to data from the National Center on Education Statistics, 93% of Park County schools qualify for Title I, a government program meant to supplement schools with high concentrations of poverty.

"NHS actually has four pillars, one of them being service, and I think another is community, and so the entire point of National Honor Society is helping out the school, helping out the community—giving back to our community," explains Victoria Gasparakis, PHS student and NHS President.

"It’s also, I think, each individual who is in NHS kind of has that within themselves that they want to help their community, they want to help the people around them," adds Kylie MacDonald, PHS student and NHS Vice President.

Daniels says they hope the room also becomes a safe space for struggling students, removing the stigma behind free food assistance.

"If you see everyone else walking in and out of the room, then you’re not embarrassed to go into the room," she says.

"This has become my favorite room. I just think it just has a really welcoming atmosphere. I spend a majority of my day in here. I think it’s a really nice, welcoming place to be," says Gasparakis.

 For more information on Park High School’s Ranger Station, visit the school's website.