The NDSU Food Insecurity Task Force recently secured a permanent spot for a full time, campus food pantry at the NDSU Bookstore in Memorial Union.
The pantry, named “Goods for the Herd,” is a resource that addresses NDSU student food insecurity. It is scheduled to be opened by spring semester.
A 2020 survey showed more than one in three NDSU students has experienced food insecurity and one in two knew somebody who was food insecure. Food insecurity is limited or inadequate access to nutritious food. Individuals who are food insecure often skip meals to ensure they have enough food to last a week.
“Now more than ever, it is important that we are taking care of the NDSU community,” said Meghan Yerhot, developmental science doctoral student and food pantry organizer. “With help and support of our food pantry, we hope to reduce the stigma surrounding food insecurity and offer a safe space where students can come grab food as needed.”
NDSU faculty and staff can support students struggling with food insecurity with a one-time donation or payroll deduction to Swipe out Hunger. The program allows students to apply for funds or meals to be transferred to their student ID for use at any campus dining center.
A pop-up food pantry also is planned for Nov. 5 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Niskanen Expansion Community Center. Organizers are requesting shelf-stable lunch and dinner items. Many NDSU departments have a drop box for donations. Donations at the Bookstore drop box will earn a 25-percent off coupon for each item. Coupons are valid only at the Bookstore.
Student, faculty and staff can volunteer at the upcoming pantry by contacting Yerhot at email@example.com.
“We are eager to get things up and running,” Yerhot said of the permanent food pantry. “We will need our NDSU community to come together and help out when they are able. Many students will go through their college years thinking it’s normal to skip meals, to pay for student fees and text books before they fill their fridges. That narrative needs to end. The goal of the food pantry is to address those issues many of our students are silently battling.”