A-State Food Pantry does good

For students and faculty in need of food, the Arkansas State University Food Pantry provides anyone with a valid A-State ID the resources they need. There is no income requirement to receive food and it is free and confidential.

The Food Pantry is completely student run through Volunteer A-State. It receives donations from registered student organizations, item drives and individual donations. 

“Anybody can donate, it doesn’t matter if they’re a student, faculty or staff member or whether they’re just someone random in the community,” said Madeleine Volner, a senior strategic communications major from Jonesboro and president of Volunteer A-State. “We love thanking everyone who comes to donate and hoping that they see the impact they’re making by making a small contribution to the Food Pantry.”

Those who want to donate can do so during the Food Pantry’s operating hours. It is open three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

While the Food Pantry will accept a multitude of items, they are in need of cereal, vegetables, canned food, frozen food like burritos and pizzas, laundry detergent and hygiene products. 

Jameson Archer, a sophomore nursing major from Sheridan and co-chair of the Food Pantry, said some unusual items needed include tomatoes, breakfast sandwiches and games. 

“One thing that everyone’s always super excited about is when we have can openers and knives and condiment items as well like ketchup and mustard. Those types of things or any sort of seasonings are always helpful,” Volner said. 

If students are interested in helping out, they can participate in various fundraising and donation events held throughout the year. They can also contact Bekah Hickman, director of Volunteer A-State and pay attention to the Food Pantry’s social media pages on Facebook and Instagram. 

Students can reach out to be on Volunteer A-State’s volunteer email list, which provides opportunities every two weeks.

If students want to volunteer, they need to apply at the beginning of the semester. 

“At the beginning of each semester we all share on social media and on the Daily Digests that we have open positions. (Students) have to fill out an application and those usually close about the first or second week of school,” Volner said. “We open the pantry the second or third week of school and so we have to get our own materials as the school year starts.”

With the holiday season coming up, the Food Pantry is about to begin its Fill the Pantry campaign. This drive aims to fill up the pantry in preparation for the Food Pantry’s holiday initiatives such as the holiday bag campaign. 

“We (give out) holiday bags where we will give out a week’s worth of food. We’ll have a whole Thanksgiving meal– basically everything you can think of turkey, pumpkin, cranberry sauce,” Archer said. 

The initiative will give out 125 bags of food. In addition to pulling from the Food Pantry’s stock, it also relies on registered student organizations providing food. 

“For free food and groceries, there is not a stigma around who we serve,” Volner said. “We’d love to serve you if you’re in need.”

The Food Pantry is located at 2907 E. Johnson Ave. 

Categories: News

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