SGA helps students in need

Donated+food+products+that+were+added+to+the+food+pantry.+

Photo by: Elodi Breg

Donated food products that were added to the food pantry.

Kei'yona Jordon, Copy Editor

Members of the Student Government Association (SGA) restocked the Food Pantry at 5 p.m. on Feb. 3 in the Smith University Center (UC).

President of SGA, Kendria Mason, said starting a food pantry was something she wanted to do when she got elected.

“As SGA president, I want students to know that I care,” Mason said. “I want to be able to be a resource for them.”

Mason and the rest of the executive cabinet started the food pantry in an effort to begin taking steps toward ending food insecurity on campus.

“According to some research I did, I found that 50 percent of college students struggle to find adequate meals,” Mason said.

Mason said the food pantry, along with other new additions to the campus, are a part of the mission to give students different tools to succeed.

“Our mission this year was to provide students with resources that will enhance their patriot experience and beyond FMU,” Mason said.

Senior economics major Antonio Waiters had just recently found out about the food pantry and said he liked the idea that the school was putting in the effort to address the specific needs of students.

“It seems really nice, and it’s a very good idea,” Waiters said. “It seems like they are trying to give us concrete tools to succeed.”

Mason said the food pantry was SGA’s way of showing they value the success of students.

“I care and I am available,” Mason said. “If I can help, I want to, and it doesn’t have to just be about the food pantry; it could be about anything.”

Third-party food distributors as well as faculty and staff try to donate enough food to last the entire semester.

Mason said all the items in the food pantry are non-perishable and can be easily stored.

“We have things like juice, Gatorade, soup cups, canned food, and other snacks,” Mason said.

The food pantry is open 10:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays with extended hours on Tuesdays and Thursday. It is located in UC 216.

Mason said she wanted all students to feel comfortable utilizing the food pantry.

“The pantry is completely free and confidential,” Mason said. “We don’t ask for any information because we understand it takes courage for some students to come and get the food.”