Organizations at Sam Houston State University are taking on an often over looked problem on its campus and at other universities nationwide.
Food insecurity is an issue which many students face themselves or experience through their peers. Students have come together to fight student hunger through the SHSU Food Pantry.
“The academic lives of our students do not exist inside a vacuum,” Candice Hanner, Food Pantry planning committee member, said in a statement. “This is a really great way to begin thinking about the whole student.”
The Food Pantry services students who are in need of food by distributing donations twice a month, according to Hanner. The next distribution day falls this Thursday.
“Distribution days will be on the second Thursday and the fourth Monday of every month,” Hanner said. “We’ve tried to plan these days so students will pick up food shortly before they get paid, when money tends to be the most scarce.”
Any student experiencing food insecurity can sign up for access to the Food Pantry through an anonymous and unbiased application process.
“We decided early on not to make any sort of criteria by which we would determine need,” Hanner said. “Just because a student isn’t on financial aid doesn’t mean that they will be able to pay for all of their academic and non-academic needs. It was already difficult enough for us to determine the percentage of the student population who would need this service; we aren’t interested in trying to determine who does and does not qualify.”
Students can log on to MySam account and click on the “students” tab, where a link will be available for students to sign up to receive items at the next distribution date.
The Episcopal Student Center is in charge of the Food Pantry and the collection of goods. There will also be an opportunity for students to directly donate canned goods and other non-perishable food items through a campus-wide gathering
The campus-wide gathering will involve individual donations to the Food Pantry in the Lowman Student Center Nov. 11-13 through the Freshman Leadership Program’s “Clash of the Cans,” a competitive can drive held by the Freshman Leadership Program.
Organizations who choose to enter the completion will be in the running for differing prizes such as certificate from the Dean of Students Office, and the winners will receive 2 hours of community service for each member in their organization.
Individuals will be able to donate three non-perishable goods in exchange for a raffle ticket and a chance to win a gift basket and other prizes.
Donations can be dropped off at several locations around campus, including the Student Health and Counseling Center, Teacher Education Center, Financial Aid Office, Estill Building, First-Year Experience Office, Academic Building IV, the math department, Lee Drain Building and the Residence Life Office.
For organizations that are interested, contact the Dean of Students Office for more information
The next pantry distribution days fall on Nov. 13 and 24. For more information about the Food Pantry, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.