Pantry brings nutrition to those in need

Kalie Strain, Reporter

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Park has opened a food pantry for students in Labor Hall. For those who haven’t been to Labor Hall before, it is the brick building between the Breckon Sports Center domes and the Copley Quad dormitory.

The pantry is open Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. or by appointment through emailing [email protected]

“We decided to go with the USDA nutritional guidelines. We’re hoping that students will improve their nutrition and access to nutritional foods as a result of visiting the pantry,” said Debra Olson-Morrison, Ph.D., an assistant professor of social work. Olson-Morrison, Dean of Students Jayme Uden, Ed.D. and social work students have all worked together to turn the pantry from an idea to a reality.

“When they come, they get three servings of each food group,” Olson-Morrison said. “That assists students in keeping a balanced diet.”

When visiting the pantry students will be asked for their student ID number. This information won’t be distributed. It’ll be used to track how often the pantry is used in general.

The pantry will be supervised by two volunteers during open hours. These volunteers will be a faculty or staff member, or a graduate student.

The joke about college students is that all they eat are microwavable instant ramen noodles. This isn’t that far from the truth. Researchers from Temple University found that 36 percent of students at the 66 colleges and universities they surveyed don’t get enough to eat.

This means that at those 66 schools, more than one in three of the students weren’t eating enough.

A study by Katharine Broton and Sara Goldrick-Rab found that students who don’t get enough to eat are 22 percent less likely to earn a GPA between 3.5 and 4.0.

Park has decided to take a step in helping students overcome this obstacle.

If you want to help maintain the food pantry and you are a faculty, staff or a graduate student, there is an online form you can fill out on the Pirate Pantry page on Park’s website to become a volunteer.

If you’re an undergraduate, or can’t volunteer in person, there’s a link on the Pirate Pantry web page about donations. You can also email [email protected] with any additional ideas or questions.

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