SGA offers free food pantry to students in need


Photo by: Julia Fulmer

Different types of canned goods reside in the food pantry for students to use, free of charge.

Starting this semester, the free food pantry for students, founded by the Student Government Association (SGA), resides in the Allard A. Allston Housing Office.   

Formed for the use of both commuting and residential students, the initiative offers canned goods, paper products and other toiletries for students to use, free of charge. The service is open primarily during the working hours of the housing office—8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.—though it is accessible as long as any staff is present in the office. The pantry also accepts donations of canned goods, toiletries, household goods, cleaning supplies and other non-perishable items.  

The SGA office at the Smith University Center (UC) formerly housed the pantry after its creation in 2019. However, due to the limitations of needing an SGA student present in the office to access the resources, it was open less often for students. SGA president and junior political science major Alfonso Legette said they saw this need arise, and the student-run organization moved the supplies closer to the residence halls for quick and easy convenience. Legette said he believes the pantry is underutilized of late due to the advent of COVID-19 and lack of proper marketing; however, he hopes the accessibility of the new pantry location will draw in more students.  

“If you are low on income or can’t get to the store, please use the FMU food pantry,” Legette said. “We could all use a hot meal.”   

Christopher Kennedy, Vice President of Student Life and professor of history, said students hoping to use the pantry should go to the housing office in person and speak with Danielle Hutson, manager of the Housing Office. Though students are welcome to utilize the pantry whenever needed, they must practice consideration to allow enough resources for others.  

“I would rather have students use it than have it go bad,” Kennedy said. “And if you need to come by weekly, that’s fine, but I’d rather them come by weekly than to walk out of there with a whole bag full of almost everything.”   

The room which houses the food pantry is also home to the clothing closet, another SGA initiative established by former leadership. The closet provides free-to-borrow business wear such as dresses, suits and shirts for students to use in a pinch.   

“It’s really for students to borrow to go to a job interview if they don’t have a formal sport coat or tie or anything to help them out,” Kennedy said. “Hopefully, they’ll return it, and we’ll get it laundered. We’ve gotten some pretty good donations from faculty members.”  

Kennedy said he appreciates the continued donations to the clothing closet and food pantry by church partners and faculty and encourages more individuals or on-campus organizations to make donations.    

“It’s more of a campus community effort,” Kennedy said. “SGA got it started, but I’d love to have other people helping us as well. Who cares about taking credit? You know, we find a need, and we need to serve it.”