Organizers of the NMU Food Pantry, which served 119 unique students over 341 visits this semester, extend their gratitude to members of the campus community and beyond who made donations to support its mission. They also encourage continued support over the summer, as food insecurity issues do not go on hiatus and the shelves are in need of restocking. The pantry will be open limited hours, from 4-7 p.m. Wednesdays, until the fall semester. It accepts non-perishable food items, along with personal care, hygiene and paper products. Financial donations also can be made through the NMU Foundation; payroll deduction is available.
“We recently had one NMU senior who wanted to do something to benefit the pantry before she graduated,” said Peter Holliday of Student Support Services, who helps to oversee the facility. “She and her mom delivered two grocery bags full of items. We’ve also had students who used the pantry during a rough patch, but came back and made donations when they were in a better spot financially.
“In the summer, we find that students get new jobs with the promise of more hours than they actually end up getting. They might be able to make rent, but it’s tight for food. The pantry is a supplement; it’s not intended to be the sole source. Sometimes people just need a little help making it to the next paycheck. We averaged about 10 visits per day this semester, so we know the need is definitely real. Now it’s a matter of making the pantry sustainable.”
Holliday said the NMU Food Pantry is exploring a relationship with Feed America West Michigan, which offers drop-off services in the Upper Peninsula. It is also looking at potential partnerships with local retailers.
With the limited summer hours, Holliday recommends that donations be delivered to the drop-off location in the Dean of Students office suite in C.B. Hedgcock. A pantry needs list is posted at www.facebook.com/NMUFoodPantry.