Food pantry serves as new resource

A food pantry has recently opened up for Stevenson students who need the resources and might not be able to afford the food they need.

The student food pantry flyer, including location and hours of operation.

The student food pantry flyer includes location and hours of operation. (Graphic from Morgan Somerville)

The food pantry is located in Garrison Hall on the Owings Mills campus. Morgan Somerville, the director of student engagement, along with several student volunteers, are in charge of the pantry.

“Every student who comes into my office, I just mention that we have this because I can’t tell by looking at someone who needs it and who doesn’t,” said Somerville. She reported that around 12 students have already visited the food pantry, with some who have already returned. The process for students is very simple, and completely anonymous.

HOW THE FOOD PANTRY CAME TO BE

The idea of a food pantry was a collaborative effort among Student Activities, Residence Life and the Wellness Center. Each office was meeting with students individually who were not able to get enough food, which affected their academic performances.

Most of the food available came from the green move-out at the end of last semester, when students donated their leftover goods. There has been talk of other items to be included in the food pantry, such as toiletries and personal hygiene products.

Service Scholar and food pantry volunteer, Nicole Wenzel, is a freshman biochemistry major from Atlantic City, N.J. She saw the effect of Hurricane Sandy, and was involved in her high school’s food pantry which aimed to help students who needed the resources.

“I needed to go to a food pantry for a year after the storm. My mom just got a new house last week from Hurricane Sandy. We’ve been moving from random rental to random rental, so I understand,”  said Wenzel.

STUDENT REACTIONS TO THE NEW RESOURCE

There has been a positive reaction to the food pantry. Many students, like Dana Girouard, a senior interdisciplinary student, realize how difficult it may be for students to afford food when there are other needs, such as textbooks and gas.

“This guy who came last week literally had me in tears. He was so grateful. He scraped up the money to come [to Stevenson] and doesn’t have the money for a food plan,” said Wenzel, who is one of the volunteers.  She also mentioned that he had not eaten in three days.

One anonymous student even revealed that she was already running out of meal swipes for the semester, and is extremely grateful for the pantry’s services

Somerville is glad to accept donations from those who wish to help and encourages students to reach out and visit the pantry.

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