Campus food pantry nourishes student bodies and minds

food_for_thoughtThe Student Parent Center at Metropolitan State addresses food insecurity in our own community by operating Food For Thought, a food pantry in partnership with Good in the ‘Hood, a local nonprofit dedicated to changing lives with acts of kindness.

The idea for a food pantry was born when the Student Parent Center opened in 2012 and the most sought after services were solutions to food insecurity. “When one is hungry it is hard to concentrate in class and hard to study at home. When one’s children are hungry, it’s hard to concentrate, as well. Students start doubting their ability to handle school and parenting if they aren’t able to feed their family and many consider dropping out,” says Student Parent Center coordinator, Suzanne Fust.

Once the idea gained a positive response from the university and a suitable and secluded location was found, the Student Parent Center received support from Good in the ‘Hood, and Food for Thought opened its doors. The pantry has two functions for all Metropolitan students, groceries to take home and grab and go food to eat on campus.

GoodintheHoodThree months after opening, there have been over 1,300 visits to the pantry and nearly five thousand pounds of food provided to students and their families. Food for Thought receives support from Good in the ‘Hood, the Student Senate, the Minnesota Department of Health, the Otto Bremer Foundation, and members of the Metropolitan State community.

To become involved in the program, visit Founders Hall, room 201A, Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. and sign up. To contribute, faculty, staff and students can donate food, funds, volunteer time, or shoes as part of Good in the ‘Hood’s Shoe Away Hunger program. Donations can be made during hours of operation or in the bin outside the door after hours.

For more information, contact the Student Parent Center at student.parentcenter@metrostate.edu or call 651-793-1564.