North Texas Daily

UNT Fights Food Insecurity

UNT Fights Food Insecurity

UNT Fights Food Insecurity
January 27
00:11 2015

Adalberto Toledo/ Staff Writer

UNT has become one of many universities in the country to offer a food pantry to help prevent students from going hungry.

Students can now walk into Stovall Hall room 150 during regular business haours Monday through Friday, as well as extended hours on Saturday to get anything from snacks to meals.

“Students need only walk in, fill out a short check-in form that indicates their need and then a member of the staff will take them to the pantry to choose a number of items,” Dean of Students office coordinator Olivia Fritts said. “Students also have the option to speak with a member of the staff for resources outside and inside the university.”

So far, donations from staff, student organizations, departments and individuals have contributed to the bourgeoning food pantry that currently consists of a closet in Stovall Hall. The pantry was created by Fritts and Associate Dean of Students Rodney Mitchell to combat food insecurity suffered by thousands of college students in the U.S. as costs of living and education go up.

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Associate Dean of Students Rodney Mitchell stands in the food pantry in Stovall Hall. Mitchell and Dean of Students office coordinator Olivia Fritts started the program that provides for students in need.

“We looked at other campuses across the nation and modeled our pantry after universities of a similar size to UNT,” said Fritts. “So we found a closet in the building not being used and went from there.”

Once the new Union is finished, the Dean of Students office will designate a larger location for the pantry so that it may grow further and reach more students.

“We’ve already received sizeable donations,” said Mitchell. “The largest one by far was a donation that took two carts to bring into the pantry. So we’re definitely off to a good start.”

UNT’s food pantry will accept food donations as well as checks or cash, and needs volunteers to organize the donated food in the pantry and catalogue the items they receive.

“It’s really thoughtful,” said performance freshman Joseph Nuñez. “I think it’ll definitely help toward the end of the semester when parents aren’t as financially supportive.”

Donations can be dropped off at the Dean of Students office in Stovall Hall room 150, and all checks must be made out to the Dean of Students.

“We want this to be a UNT-owned pantry,” said Mitchell. “We need students, staff and alumni to support it, whether that be in terms of money donations, volunteering or food. We need to reach as many students as we can.”

Featured Image: Oatmeal, cereal and canned goods overflow from the food pantry donation box inside Stovall Hall. Photos by Hannah Ridings – Staff Photographer

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