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MTSU’s Greeks give big boost to replenishing Stude...

MTSU’s Greeks give big boost to replenishing Student Food Pantry

Members of MTSU’s Fraternity and Sorority Life pack up donations stored inside the Student Union that were collected during a recent food drive in support of the Student Food Pantry. Pictured, from left to right, are Jake West, Greek Week committee member, Taylor Hutson, Panhellenic vice president of recruitment, and Shalayna Hoekstra, Greek Week chair. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

MTSU’s Fraternity and Sorority Life recently collected more than 5,300 items and raised roughly $740 by coordinating a food drive during its spring Greek Week celebration.

The beneficiary was MTSU’s Student Food Pantry. Located on the second floor of MT One Stop, the pantry offers canned food and other nonperishable items to help students in a pinch throughout the semester.

Members of MTSU’s Fraternity and Sorority Life pack up donations stored inside the Student Union that were collected during a recent food drive in support of the Student Food Pantry. Pictured, from left to right, are Jake West, Greek Week committee member, Taylor Hutson, Panhellenic vice president of recruitment, and Shalayna Hoekstra, Greek Week chair. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Members of MTSU’s Fraternity and Sorority Life pack up donations stored inside the Student Union that were collected during a recent food drive in support of the Student Food Pantry. Pictured, from left to right, are Jake West, Greek Week committee member, Taylor Hutson, Panhellenic vice president of recruitment, and Shalayna Hoekstra, Greek Week chair. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Shalayna Hoekstra, Greek Week chair, said that FSL usually partners with Habitat for Humanity for their philanthropic project, but since there were no immediate Habitat builds, they discovered that MTSU Student Food Pantry could use some help.

Hoekstra is proud of the large amount of participation from among the FSL’s 24 campus organizations.

“I’m really humbled that we put in so much work and that our community really proved to people that — I think Fraternity and Sorority Life doesn’t always have a great reputation, so when we can provide philanthropic services to the students of our community it’s really great,” she said.

During Greek Week, April 17-20, FSL hosted events such as a luau and a cookout that required the entrance fee of one canned food item for those who attended.

Kristen Russell serves as coordinator of outreach and support programs at MT One Stop and oversees the operations of the Student Food Pantry. First opened in fall 2012, the pantry is available to currently enrolled students, who must bring their student ID to access the pantry.

Russell said inventory has been running a bit low, so she reached out to FSL Director Leslie Merritt about ways Greek members could help.

“To have a donation this large come in will really help keep us up and running right now,” Russell said. “I think sometimes people forget that students are here over the summer and so we do need donations even during the summer.”

Members of MTSU’s Fraternity and Sorority Life display donations collected and stored at the Student Union during a recent food drive in support of the Student Food Pantry. Pictured, from left to right, are Hannah Leyhew, Panhellenic Council president, Jordan Gustus, National Panhellenic Council liaison, Thomas Denney, Interfraternity Council president, Shalayna Hoekstra, Greek Week chair, and Jake West, Greek Week committee member. (MTSU photo by Jayla Jackson)

Members of MTSU’s Fraternity and Sorority Life display donations collected and stored at the Student Union during a recent food drive in support of the Student Food Pantry. Pictured, from left to right, are Hannah Leyhew, Panhellenic Council president, Jordan Gustus, National Panhellenic Council liaison, Thomas Denney, Interfraternity Council president, Shalayna Hoekstra, Greek Week chair, and Jake West, Greek Week committee member. (MTSU photo by Jayla Jackson)

As part of their philanthropic work that promotes the idea of giving back, Merritt believed that focusing on the True Blue community would be beneficial.

“When Greek Week came around, we really wanted to look at our own community, the MTSU student population and do something to give back to them,” she said.

This is FSL’s first time doing a food drive for the pantry, and representatives believed that a little competition between the organizations wouldn’t hurt.

Student Food Pantry logoFSL organizations were encouraged to bring in items as part of the Greek Week championship. In return, for each item turned in, the group responsible would be given a point.

“Competition always makes things a bit more fun,” Merritt said.

The Interfraternity Council Executive Board, the governing body of interfraternity groups on campus, and the Panhellenic Executive Board agreed to match donations. The Panhellenic Executive Board matched the top donation, which resulted in 200 items, and the Interfraternity Executive Board matched with 200 packs of Ramen noodles.

The overall winner of the competition was the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

For more information about MTSU FSL, visit www.mtsu.edu/fsl.

For more information about the MTSU Student Food Pantry, including operating hours, drop-off times and needed items, visit www.mtsu.edu/foodpantry.

— Jayla Jackson (news@mtsu.edu)

Kristen Russell, left, coordinator of outreach and support programs at MT One Stop, packs up donations collected recently by Fraternity and Sorority Life in support of the Student Food Pantry. Russell oversees pantry operations. Helping her is One Stop secretary Tina Chevalier. \

Kristen Russell, left, coordinator of outreach and support programs at MT One Stop, packs up donations collected recently by Fraternity and Sorority Life in support of the Student Food Pantry. Russell oversees pantry operations. Helping her is One Stop secretary Tina Chevalier. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Members of MTSU’s Fraternity and Sorority Life sort donations stored inside the Student Union that were collected during a recent food drive in support of the Student Food Pantry. Pictured, from left to right, are FSL Director Leslie Merritt, FSL coordinator Zak Gosa-Lewis, Thomas Denney, Interfraternity Council president, and Jordan Gustus, National Panhellenic Council liaison. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)

Members of MTSU’s Fraternity and Sorority Life sort donations stored inside the Student Union that were collected during a recent food drive in support of the Student Food Pantry. Pictured, from left to right, are FSL Director Leslie Merritt, FSL coordinator Zak Gosa-Lewis, Thomas Denney, Interfraternity Council president, and Jordan Gustus, National Panhellenic Council liaison. (MTSU photo by Jimmy Hart)


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