Free fall food for all at campus market  

To perk up Minnesota State students mourning the end of summer, the annual Free Fall Farmers Market took place 1-3 p.m. Monday in the Crossroads parking lot on campus. 

With the team effort of the Community Engagement Office, the Campus Cupboard, and the Campus Kitchen, the farmers market had a line stretching down the street packed with hungry Mavericks. 

“It’s nice being able to come here and just have something to add to your meals back at your dorm,” MSU student Emmah Dmytrasz said. 

After checking in with a MAV Card, students were given a reusable purple tote to fill with goodies. The produce selection consisted of apples, green peppers, cucumbers, and potatoes freshly grown and donated locally. 

“I appreciate it because I know a lot of us are broke, and grocery shopping is expensive,” MSU student Taliyah West said.

 The sponsors of the market were present and eager to socialize with students about where to find food resources affordably or free, or help direct them toward volunteer opportunities in the area. 

MSU student Christian Tentis shopped freely at the farmers markets alongside many of his classmates.

“It’s important for the campus to take care of their students and give them the proper resources they need,” Tentis said. “It’s also important for the university to advocate for locally grown food to help support local farmers.”

As many students navigate the transition from dorm life to off-campus housing, groceries are another task to add to an already bulky to-do list. Not to mention, groceries are costly, and healthy options are not typically the quickest or most affordable. 

“Not everybody has resources outside of school, so I think it’s important we have those here, especially for like international students and stuff, everything is accessible to everyone,” West said. 

College students tend to be attracted to a lack of a price tag, and it is meaningful to have campus teams that make their students’ lives a little easier. 

“I think it’s important, especially for people who aren’t from Mankato to be able to feel like they’re cared about and it’s like more of a community,” Dmytrasz said. “There’s things here to help them rather than feeling isolated.”

Although the Campus Kitchen is closing its doors, The Maverick Food Pantry and Campus Cupboard are always searching for volunteers with community service. Mavs in Action is involved in this process, and any student can find them inside the Student Activities Office for further information. 

As for more free food feening students, the Campus Cupboard has free groceries every Tuesday from 11-3 p.m. in the lower level of Crossroads Church. There will also be a Free Spring Market to come in 2024.

Write to Mercedes Kauphusman mercedes.kauphusman@mnsu.edu

Header Photo: MSU students were welcome to stop by the Fall 2023 Free Farmers Market to stock up on fresh produce and visit with people who help get food resources, help find places to volunteer, and help others who need help getting food. (Alexis Darkow/The Reporter)

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