Spring Hill College campus ministry has teamed up with the Jesuit group on campus, Alpha Sigma Nu, to provide students, faculty and staff with resources for food that they may be needing. Campus ministry sent out an email to all students and faculty on September 3 informing us that they have recognized that there are people on this campus who experience food insecurity. In order to help these people acquire the food and nourishment they may be lacking, an area has been designated for people to take and leave food as needed and able to.
There is a food locker located on the second floor of the Barter Student Center that has been dedicated to this purpose. Locker number 9 has been labeled the “take something / leave something” locker and stocked with non perishable food items. The locker is located in a small nook in the building and is meant to be a thing of assistance rather than shame. According to campus ministry, “It is completely self-serve and anonymous.”
The College and University Food Bank Alliance defines food insecurity as “the limited or uncertain availability of adequate and safe foods, or the ability to acquire such foods in a socially acceptable manner.” Students, faculty, and staff on Spring Hill’s campus are not only encouraged to utilize the items available in the food pantry but also to contribute to it if able. If the movement seems to be working, campus ministry and Alpha Sigma Nu plan to place drop boxes around various places on campus as well as in the chapel in order to make it more accessible to more people.
The idea of an on campus food pantry is not something new to our campus, and it is not unique to college campuses. The College and University Food Bank Alliance offers a network of food pantries across many college campuses and shares the resources. “We are helping our members to continue the vital work of serving students with food insecurities,” the website states.
The website also offers a study on food insecurity on college campuses that states that somewhere around 30 percent of college students are food insecure and, “the most extreme form is often accompanied with physiological sensations of hunger.” It is no surprise that college students are known to lack sufficient nutrients, but it is not often understood just how much this affects their lives. “These stressors affect student success and in the long term, impact learning, grades, graduation, and time of degree,” the website explains.
Spring Hill has chosen to join the movement by adding a food pantry on campus in order to assist students, faculty, and staff in acquiring the proper nutrients they need to perform adequately in school and encourage the motto, “Give all you can, take as much as you need.”