As the NMU Food Pantry closes out the academic year and prepares for more limited hours this summer, statistics indicate an increase in the number of visits. The pantry opened in November 2017. Students stopped in 341 times during the winter 2018 semester, compared with more than 500 visits recorded over the same semester this year. More than 125 individuals have utilized its services since January, according to the Dean of Students Office.
The pantry is located in Gries Hall above the Health Center. Volunteers are able to operate the facility through food and household donations, as well as financial donations received through the NMU Foundation. Various food drives held during the academic year provide supplemental products for the pantry's shelves. Three significant drives that occurred this year included the NMU Day of Giving, Food 4 Fines and the NMU Holiday Party.
When food donations are low, items are purchased either locally or through Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that feed more than 46 million people through food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other community-based agencies.
As summer approaches, pantry workers will help students who are transitioning from the residence halls to on- and off-campus apartments and may need dishes, pots and pans and cooking utensils, in addition to food. Paper bags and donated items can be delivered to the NMU Dean of Students Office.
The pantry will be open weekly during the summer, from 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays. Those who are interested in volunteering for one of those summer shifts may email the Food Pantry adviser, Haley Rhoades, at email@example.com.