Campus food pantry open for all students battling hunger problems

The TTU Food Pantry opened for food distributions to all Tech students and faculty this semester in Foundation Hall Cafeteria to combat hunger on campus.

The distributions of food take place on Thursdays and Fridays, however there are volunteers at the pantry every day of the week so you can donate non-perishable food items anytime.

“From the beginning, we have never listed any criteria for recipients of food other than they must be affiliated with Tech as a student or employee,” said Kaitlin Salyer, assistant Service Learning coordinator.

The idea of the food pantry came about after some of the administration on campus noticed more and more students were contacting them about hunger-related issues on Tech’s campus. Michelle Huddleston, service coordinator for Tech, along with other members of the administration decided to host an AmeriCorps VISTA in the Service Learning Center who would work to establish a food pantry on campus.

Research was done on how to run a food pantry, and it was found there was a nationwide trend among college campuses called “hidden hunger.” The campus community volunteered to help with the food pantry and collecting donations.

“I researched how to run a food bank and reached out to our campus community,” said Salyer. “They have been nothing but supportive since day one.”

TTU Food Pantry first began distributing food on Sept. 5, 2013. There were approximately 50 students signed up to receive food when it opened. After the first semester of distributions, the TTU Food Pantry was able to open up to Tech employees. To date, TTU Food Pantry has served approximately 300 students and employees on Tech’s campus.

Psi Chi, the psychology honor society and service organization on Tech’s campus, hosted “The Hungry Games” on Sept. 25. There was corn hole, Frisbee and other games on Main Quad. Participants were asked to bring two non-perishable food items to donate to the TTU Food Pantry.

Beta Alpha Psi, the accounting honor society at Tech, is hosting Eat.Glow.Run. 5K on Oct. 3 to raise awareness of campus hunger and collect donations for the TTU Food Pantry again this fall.

“We are super excited to be a part of the run again this year,” said Salyer.