The Dixie State University Food Pantry is seeking to fight hunger this holiday season by gathering food for its students.
According to a recent study by the University of Connecticut Public Interest Research Group, one in four college students go hungry. The DSU Food Pantry, led by the DSU Student Association, has partnered with the Utah Food Bank to create an on campus food pantry for those who are in desperate need of food or toiletries.
DSU’s website states, “all current DSU students, faculty, and staff are welcome to utilize the pantry – no questions asked.”
The DSU Food Pantry is located on the second floor of the Gardner Student Center, which is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Thous donations come primarily come from the Utah Food Bank, other initiatives have taken place in an attempt to keep the food pantry stocked for those in need.
Anilee Bundy, coordinator of clubs and services, said, “While we attempt to keep food on hand at all times, sometimes the need on campus is greater than our resources.”
Food drives and donations from various departments or clubs on campus have become frequent contributors to the quantity of items found in the food pantry, Bundy said. Primary donors to these drives tend to be faculty or staff members of DSU with the occasional student donation.
“It’s definitely a way to give back to those who don’t have as much,” said Dylan Cook, a senior business administration major from Fairbanks, Alaska. “It’s nice to look out for other people and it makes you feel good when you can help.”
DSU’s most current attempt to raise food for the DSU Food Pantry is the Holiday Food Drive, led by Ginger Alldredge, executive assistant for vice president of student affairs. With the drive lasting through the remainder of the holiday season, Alldredge said her goal is to get the food pantry overflowing with food and toiletry items.
Black trash cans, labeled “Food Pantry,” line the campus of DSU to serve as reminders and receptacles to those who walk through campus for the need to donate.
The DSU Food Pantry has asked for a variety of non-perishable food items, but those found on the following list are what those involved with the Holiday Food Drive deem as most wanted:
-Canned fruits and vegetables
-Canned meat (tuna or chicken)
-Canned soup or beans
-Whole grain pasta and rice
“If you’re not going to eat it, why would a college student eat it?” Alldredge said. “Donate something that is going to be of value [to the students].”
If faculty and staff donated one item, the pantry would be overflowing and there would be a need for a bigger storage area, Alldredge said. Unfortunately, the DSU food pantry is not at that point.
While the food pantry is a temporary solution for those struggling with hunger, it becomes important to help those who are struggling to make the most out of what they have and learn to maximize crucial skills like knowing how to cook or budget money, Alldredge said.