Article Written by Lilly Marohn.
You wake up in the morning to the sound of your stomach growling. Ouch! You say as you feel the hunger pain pinch. It’s breakfast time but you don’t have any food. Your body is running on empty which makes you feel lightheaded and gives you brain fog. Even worse, you have to go to class today and take a final exam. How am I going to focus on the final exam when I feel this hungry? How could this impact my final grade in the course?
This is the reality for students facing food insecurity across campus. St. Cloud State University is working to support students with resources to get them through this difficult time.
“One of the main goals that we have at the Food Pantry is to fight student hunger and college student hunger,” Basic Needs Resource Intern Smriti Shrestha said. “Food pantry to function in a way that is very student-centered and making sure that all of the needs when it comes to students are met”.
“The Food Pantry exists because we are trying to impact food insecurity at St. Cloud State and making sure students have a place where they can go if they need it,” said the Director of Civic Engagement with The Department of Campus Involvement, Christa Hayes.
The Husky Food Pantry, located in Hill Hall, is a campus resource for students. The food pantry offers fresh vegetables and fruits, milk, eggs, meats, cultural foods, snacks, frozen meals, canned items, and some beverages. It also offers basic needs items like toothpaste, toothbrushes, pads, diapers, tampons, and more.
“We have a signed partnership agreement with a nonprofit organization called Hope for the Community and they’re based in Blaine,” Hayes said. “They help us a lot financially with food right now.”
Hope for the Community donated the refrigerators and freezers to the Husky Food Pantry which allowed them to offer fresh and frozen food to students. They are also the Pantry’s largest donation for food. The pantry still gets smaller donations from community members, students, and faculty.
“I’ve been working here at the food pantry as an intern for two years and the number of students who have come to use the food pantry has only been increasing since I’ve been here,” Shrestha said.
“We’ve seen growth in our pantry with the number of students that are visiting and the different types of students as far as backgrounds go, so our goals are to try to remain consistent with serving a good number of students,” Hayes said.
The Food Pantry has goals to continue serving students as best they can. If you are seeking support or resources to combat food insecurity, check out the food pantry, located at Hill Hall. The Spring Semester hours are Mondays and Tuesdays from 12:00 PM – 5:30 PM. The hours for summer 2023 are going to be adjusted and will be announced on our website and social media channels.
If you are interested in volunteering for the Food Pantry, visit this website: https://www.stcloudstate.edu/huskiesfoodpantry/