As MT One Stop coordinator Becca Seul explains how the MTSU Student Food Pantry is organized, it’s easy to notice the empty shelf space around the wall.
“The need has continued to grow, but the donations have slowed since we’ve moved to the new building,” said Seul, founder and coordinator of the pantry. “We’re trying to get people more aware of where we are so that we can get those donations back up.”
Open since fall semester of 2012, the Student Food Pantry moved from the McFarland Building earlier this year to its new home on the second floor of the Student Services and Admissions Center, also known as the MT One Stop.
With fall semester quickly approaching, and with it thousands of students including 3,000-plus freshmen, the pantry is seeking donations to restock its shelves after student need shrunk its inventory over the past few months.
Any currently enrolled student who shows a valid student ID can access the pantry for food. Those students with longer-term food needs are referred to community partners such as Greenhouse Ministries, Seul said.
The pantry has collected more than 12,000 pounds of food since opening and has served more than 700 students who’ve found themselves in need of a decent meal but without the resources to feed themselves.
“A lot of people think that the most random thing will never get taken from our pantry, but we have a very diverse population of students,” Seul said. “So they take everything that comes in here.”
The pantry accepts nonperishable items that aren’t expired. Though it has much more room to store items since its move, it is running low on just about everything except canned vegetables, Seul said.
Among the most needed items are canned fruits and beans, pasta, peanut butter, crackers, fruit cups, rice, cereal, bottled water and Ramen noodles. See the full needs list at www.mtsu.edu/foodpantry.
People can drop off donations anytime the MT One Stop is open: Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MT One Stop is located on the east side of campus at MTSU Boulevard and Blue Raider Drive, with visitor parking available off MTSU Boulevard.
Those wishing to help monetarily can also donate online at www.mtsu.edu/foodpantry. The pantry now has an MTSU Foundation account, which allows Seul to stock up on items available in bulk at less cost.
For more information about MTSU’s Student Food Pantry, contact Seul at 615-494-8910 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website at www.mtsu.edu/foodpantry.
— Jimmy Hart (email@example.com)