Bailey Brendel ® Staff Writer |
Photo by Mansoor Ahmad ® Photo Editor |
The Maverick Food Pantry opened in early December for Minnesota State University, Mankato students. Located in Carkoski 142, down the hall from the Student Health Services, this service provides free weekly groceries to students who may be going through food insecurities.
All students have to do is walk down to the pantry and fill out the Google form from the scanner on the table. On the form, you fill out the necessary information, and there is even a box for suggestions of food you’d like to see in the future. After handing in the form, students can expect a box of food that could include meat, bread, pasta and snacks.
This service plans to combat food insecurity at the University. According to Dr. Kelly Meier, Assistant Vice Principle of Diversity and Inclusion at MSU, “In a study by Carol Glasser, a Sociology professor at MSU, in one of her classes she found that 40% of students experienced high or very high levels of food insecurity, and another 24% of students who had marginal food insecurity.”
This data shows that if this classroom represented all MNSU students, then it would mean almost of the school’s population have experienced some sort of food insecurity during their time here.
The Maverick Food Pantry partners with Second Harvest Heartland, a food distribution center that allows the pantry to receive food at a lower cost. However, the Maverick Food Pantry is still in need of donations.
The organization recently received a large donation from the IFL faculty association as well as other donations. They’re also willing to take donations or work with anyone on research projects.
“We want to provide more than just food,” Meier said. “We want to be a one-stop location for many types of services.”
The pantry has many plans for their future benefits, including a community garden for students to enjoy and a YouTube channel to teach students how to get creative with cooking. The pantry also wants to destigmatize the use of food shelves and eliminate the shame some feel when accessing resources.
“We want it to be more than just a box of food going out,” Meier said.