The Current Sauce • KNWD

Purple Media Network

The Official Student Media of Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Purple Media Network

Purple Media Network

NSU’s Food Pantry fights against food insecurity for students

Kacy Young is a junior with a double major in history and hospitality management and tourism, and a student coordinator of The Pantry.

Students at Northwestern State University of Louisiana are faced with limited dining options on campus. With this, some try to go grocery shopping. However, it can be difficult to find time in one’s day to visit the grocery store. On top of this, some students can not afford it.

To help create a solution to more than just these issues, the NSU Student Food Pantry was first established in 2015 by students within the Social Work department. In 2020, the Student Government Association renovated it and rebranded it as The Pantry.

“The main point of the food pantry is to stop food insecurity. One in four college students will experience food insecurity throughout their time in college, which means they’re not sure where their next meal will come from,” Kacy Young, a junior with a double major in history and hospitality management and tourism who is a student coordinator of The Pantry, said.

The Pantry is open to all NSU students. They do not have to say anything about their financial situation to utilize the services. If they bring their student ID, students are welcome to one visit each week.

To keep The Pantry open for students with varying schedules, volunteers sign up to work hour long shifts.

“We are always looking for more volunteers,” Young said. “Even if students can’t volunteer, they can also donate non-expired goods to the food pantry.”

The Pantry is solely donation based and accepts donations from anyone, including students. They accept more than just food donations.

“It’s also self-care products; we have body washes, razors, feminine hygiene products, deodorant, toilet paper etc,” Khali Sylvester, a volunteer at The Pantry who is a first-year sophomore with a major in nursing, said.

She elaborated on her experience as a volunteer for The Pantry, encouraging others to volunteer.

“It gives me the ability to get the service hours I need with the flexibility of my schedule, but you’re also helping out the community. It’s not very hard work, so it’s an easy way to give back without taking too much time since we’re all busy college students,” Sylvester said. “It also allows you to get your homework done when it’s not busy because you’re forced to sit down for an hour.”

Volunteers at The Pantry are still able to utilize it, as all NSU students have access. Sylvester explained how she makes use of The Pantry.

“What I do is I come here before I go to the grocery, so I can get some of the stuff here,” Sylvester said. “It’ll help take that financial burden away from having to get everything from the grocery store. If you have the access to it, why wouldn’t you use it?”

Taylor Maust, a senior with a major in psychology, visited the food pantry because her Demon Dollars, or her declining balance, was running out. This is a common reason for students visiting the food pantry, although students do not have to have a reason to come.

“I like the snacks – I could always use a good snack,” Maust shared. “And I think this is a really good opportunity for students of all backgrounds to get the supplies that they need, not just food but personal hygiene stuff as well.”

This is just another reason students should pay a visit to the food pantry.

“Everyone should use the food pantry; Any and all NSU students are welcome,” Brooke Straight, a student coordinator of The Pantry who is a sophomore with a major in health and exercise science, said. “No student should ever feel embarrassed to use the food pantry. It is an amazing resource and there is no shame in getting the things you need.”

Straight emphasized the benefit of, not only utilizing the food pantry, but volunteering there as well.

“Volunteering at the food pantry opened my eyes to all of the other resources that NSU has to offer,” Straight said. “It has allowed me to meet so many new people and explore opportunities.”

The Pantry is run only by student volunteers. With this, student coordinators Young and Straight are always looking for new volunteers, especially because it is not open as often in the summer.

Located in the Trisler Power Plant at 143 Central Avenue, The Pantry is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Friday. They remain open during the summer, but hours differ due to limited volunteers.
To keep up with events such as volunteer trainings or gift basket raffles, visit the Instagram page @nsula_thepantry. For any additional questions such as how to volunteer, email [email protected] or contact Kacy Young at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Madelyn Murphy
Madelyn Murphy, Current Sauce - Arts & Living Editor
Maddy Murphy is a freshman communication major at NSU. Spending her first semester as a reporter for The Current Sauce, she cannot wait to write news articles and stories inspired by both on-campus and off-campus events in Natchitoches. Her goal is to entertain students by including them in her writing, so be on the lookout—she may ask to interview you for a story!

Comments (0)

All The Current Sauce • KNWD Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *