Food pantry to offer fresh produce, more items


Bridget Reilly

Special events coordinator, Cynthia Cummings checks inventory at the Mustangs Food Pantry. Jan. 29. Photo by Bridget Reilly

The food pantry reopened for students who are food insecure on Jan. 23 and, according to Special Events Coordinator Cynthia Cummings, there will be more fresh food this semester.

Students said if the food pantry had started to get the fresh produce it would help.

“We do get fresh produce, but we are working with United [Supermarkets] right now and United has to get approval on it but I am really hopeful,” Cummings said.

With a gleam in her eye, she added that they should be getting fresh salads in with ham, eggs and cheese. She was not sure if they would have fruit for salads but they do get fruit, milk, eggs and butter every Wednesday.

“I am really hopeful by next Wednesday [Jan. 30], we will get fresh salads and these salads will have ham, eggs, and cheese and all kinds of stuff for them every Wednesday,” Cummings said.

Part of the challenge, Cummings said, was donations to keep the pantry funded.

“We have gotten a few [donations]. It has slowed down now that Christmas is over, so we are hoping that [donations] will build up a little bit. But we have some fund-raising ideas for the future and hopefully that will help us carry over until summer,” Cummings said.

Looking at donations and how the students could help, Cummings said students can put contributions of non-perishable food in bins around campus.

“Last time we picked them up on Tuesday. We probably got about five or six cans [of food] which is not a whole lot.”

However, she said these bins also posed a problem — they are not trash cans. Cummings said they did have some problem with students putting trash in the collection bins and said she hopes students are more mindful of where they are putting their trash.

After she collects the donations and other items, she takes them to the pantry in Clark Student Center Room 173.

“It is a grand room. It’s not a closet. We have made it into something spectacular. It is a little bit small, but, yes, it is in the SGA office. We got it really organized … . We do the best we can, but we have a wide variety of stuff. We are pretty proud of it,” Cummings said.

She also said that space is hard to come by in the student center.

Around campus, students also thought the pantry was a good service for those in need of food.

Seth Smith, a business sophomore, said, “It’s cool and useful, and I hope it does end campus hunger.”