The Birdfeeder is a client-choice food pantry created to help meet the basic needs of all Roadrunners. We understand college is stressful enough without worrying about where your next meal is coming from – this is where the Birdfeeder comes in to ensure students can focus on academics.

If your cabinets are a little empty, you’re skipping meals or otherwise stressed about food, the Birdfeeder has resources to help.  The Birdfeeder provides supplemental support;  we do not provide all the food and supplies you will need for one week. Our goal is to reduce your grocery bill and help ensure you, as a student, are receiving the nutrition needed to be successful inside the classroom.



A group of faculty and staff broke ground on a campus garden after a senior Social Work major, Aaliyah Montague-Bass, expressed the need for fresh produce to be offered in the food pantry. For the inaugural planting season there are five rows of produce including tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapenos and squash. The plan is for the garden to support the Birdfeeder. When students are in session, fresh produce will be taken to the pantry for distribution. When there is an abundance of produce or students are out of session it will be sold on campus. All profits will go back into the Birdfeeder fund to continue supporting its Operations.


In March 2018, the Dalton State Foundation agreed to sponsor the Birdfeeder. This partnership allows donors to make financial contributions to the Birdfeeder are tax deductible as allowed by law (please consult your tax advisor for details). The Birdfeeders partnership with the Dalton State Foundation allowed the pantry to become a partner agency with the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.


After the Pope Student Center was renovated, the Birdfeeder was re-located to the Student Center in October 2016 and made available to any currently enrolled Dalton State Student. During the 2016-17 academic year, the Birdfeeder moved under the direction of Student Life, and processes and procedures were updated with the goal of making the pantry more efficient, sustainable, and student-led.

As one of the first food pantries for students in the University System of Georgia, the Birdfeeder received the Chancellor’s Gold Award as an innovative, effective solution and strategy for improving student success.


The Birdfeeder opened in January of 2014 as a food bank for students living on campus after several people noticed students were struggling academically due to food insecurity. Employee Sherry Breitweiser saw students needed food and began keeping small items such as cereal in her office. Janet Hayes, the administrative assistant in enrollment services, wanted to expand. She knew she could get donations but could not run the food bank.  She contacted Natalie Bates, director of residence life at the time, and Jason Ramos, assistant director for residence life, to discuss options to help provide food for residential students. The result was the Birdfeeder.

5 easy steps.

The Birdfeeder is a “client choice” food pantry that allows students seeking food assistance to choose for themselves what products they receive. Students may shop the pantry one time per week (the week resets on Sunday at midnight).

The Birdfeeder is a “client choice” food pantry that allows students seeking food assistance to choose for themselves what products they receive. Students may shop the pantry one time per week (the week resets on Sunday at midnight).

  1. Visit the Birdfeeder during operating hours. We are located in the lower level of the Pope Student Center.
  2. If you are a first-time visitor, you will complete a brief intake form. From then on out, you will just need to swipe your valid Student ID. You must have your ID for each visit.
  3. Select up to one item from each section – unless otherwise marked. We highly recommend you maximize your visit since you can only stop in once per week. Think ahead!
  4. Checkout with the staff member on duty. They will track items for inventory purposes.
  5. Enjoy your week before repeating the process!

If you are rushing between classes and do not have time to shop for yourself, use the Rapid Pickup request form. Any online requests will be filled within 48 operating hours – you will receive an email when your item is ready for pickup.

Food Request Form for Rapid Pickup

If you are looking for delicious, healthy, and affordable meals, check out some of the online resources linked below:

  • The Capital Area Food Bank in Lorton, VA has a free Healthy Recipe Database for delicious, healthy, and affordable meals. These recipes were designed using common Food Bank ingredients. These recipes are available in both English and Spanish.
  • The “ Good and Cheap” or “Bueno y Barato” recipe book created by Leanne Brown helps readers eat on $4 a day. You can view the book in either English or Spanish. You can learn more on Leanne Brown’s website, here.
  • Feeding America also has a database of easy healthy recipes you can check out!

Use the link below to access a guide featuring local and national contact information for community services in the northwest Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee areas.

Community Resource Guide

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