MSA plans to open food pantry for MU students, faculty
Apr 24, 2012
Elise Moser of The Maneater (MU Student Voice)
The Missouri Students Association will launch a food pantry in the fall to help MU students and faculty in need of assistance getting food.
In three months, MSA Director of Student Services Nick Droege has taken Tiger Pantry from an idea to a reality. Droege got the idea for the pantry after a trip to the University of Arkansas.
“I went down to Arkansas for the SEC Exchange Conference, and Arkansas has a pantry,” he said. “I just thought it was interesting that that’s never been explored before, considering the need here on campus.”
After seeing Full Circle Pantry in late January at Arkansas, Droege has worked this semester to make Tiger Pantry a reality.
“We haven’t had much free time this semester,” he said.
Droege asked his friend Kiara Goodwin to help him with Tiger Pantry. Goodwin said she was excited to get involved.
“Service is a big part of my life,” she said. “When I realized that there really was a big need on campus, I thought it would be something that I would love to be a part of starting.”
Droege and Goodwin have worked with professor Anne Deaton as their mentor and Central Missouri Food Bank Director Peggy Kirkpatrick to get the ball rolling.
“Having those two people support us has helped us speed up the process,” Droege said.
There are more than 1,500 MU students with an estimated family contribution of less than $1,000 as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, Droge said. In addition, 6,500 students qualify to receive Pell Grants.
International students are in need of food assistance and do not qualify for public assistance such as food stamps, Droege also said.
“Someone that can look perfectly fine on paper could need this service,” he said. “Tiger Pantry will offer food to any MU students or faculty members who want it. There’s no financial requirements.”
There are currently six open positions for Tiger Pantry. Droege and Goodwin received 200 applications.
“We’re really excited about the number of people that have applied,” Goodwin said.
Since receiving all of the applications, Droege and Goodwin have made cuts for the first round of interviews. Droege said he expects there to be three rounds of interviews because of the volume of applicants.
“It’s been hard,” Droege said. “We’ve gotten a lot of really good applications. Sifting through, it was not easy.”
The planned location of the pantry is currently undisclosed, but it will be within walking distance of campus, Droege said.
Goodwin also said the pantry will be within easy access of MU students and faculty.
To get the word out, Goodwin and Droege have reached out to organizations within the communication, business and journalism departments.
“They can help us reach the right community of people who need it and the right community of volunteers,” Goodwin said.
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