The MTSU Student Food Pantry’s drive to stock its shelves will get a boost again this year from a Conference USA competition and help from the community.
The second annual Conference USA Food Drive Challenge, slated for Thursday, Oct. 30, to Thursday, Nov. 6, is encouraging fans to donate nonperishable food items to the pantry at six MTSU activities.
The goal is to collect more donations than any school in the league as well as to replenish the MTSU pantry’s shelves for the upcoming holiday season.
“Because we’re new to the conference, we wanted to make a splash in the food drive last year,” said Becca Seul, founder and coordinator of the MTSU Student Food Pantry and an academic adviser for the University College Advising Center.
“This year, we’re really hoping to step it up and be at the top of that list.”
The athletic events targeted for this fall’s C-USA food drive are:
• “Murphy Madness,” the reopening of the renovated Murphy Center, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30.
• MTSU women’s volleyball vs. North Texas at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, in Alumni Memorial Gym.
• MTSU football vs. Brigham Young at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, in Floyd Stadium.
• MTSU women’s volleyball vs. Marshall at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, in Alumni Memorial Gym.
• MTSU women’s basketball vs. Martin Methodist at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, in Murphy Center.
Representatives of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will be on hand to gather needed pantry items such as fruit cups, crackers, granola bars, popcorn, drinks, peanut butter and beverages.
Along with food items, volunteers at the athletic events will accept monetary donations for deposit into the food pantry’s MTSU Foundation account so that needed items can be purchased quickly in bulk.
Since the MTSU food pantry opened two years ago, it has been visited more than 900 times, Seul said. Homeless and foster care students are among those who patronize the pantry. Students who are between paychecks or whose campus meal plans have run out also obtain food there.
“We have a big, diverse population of students that are coming in, and they’re just taking everything,” said Seul. “They’re not focusing on just one item anymore.”
The pantry moved last spring from the McFarland Building, which is under renovation, to the new Student Services and Admissions Center, known as the MT One Stop.
In addition to the food drive, the MTSU Student Food Pantry will receive 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of long-sleeved T-shirts featuring the MTSU seal. The shirts, which are available in sizes small to 3XL, are $15, payable by cash or check. They can be purchased at the MTSU Alumni House, 2259 Middle Tennessee Blvd.
For more information, contact Seul at 615-494-8910 or email@example.com, or visit www.mtsu.edu/foodpantry.
— Gina K. Logue (firstname.lastname@example.org)