October 27, 2010
10-185

Blazer Pantry Now Open

VALDOSTA -- Hungry students who struggle to pay for food are now able to receive assistance from the Blazer Pantry -- a food collection for students who qualify for nutritional assistance.

The Division of Student Affairs launched the pantry on Wednesday, Oct. 27, during a ribbon cutting ceremony that showcased the pantry and recognized its sponsors, including the Office of Volunteer Services and Parent Programs, Sodexo Inc. and Second Harvest of South Georgia.

Sodexo, which operates Blazer Dining, donated 75 pounds of non-perishable food items to help stock the shelves. The leading provider of integrated food and facilities management pledged to donate 50 percent of canned goods collected during its November drive. Second Harvest of Georgia has also assured continued support for the hunger outreach program.

Blazer Pantry Co-Coordinator Monique Byrd said the pantry is an opportunity for the university community to lend a hand to students eager to attain an education, yet laboring to nourish their bodies. During these poor economic times, Byrd said, VSU must take efforts to advocate on behalf of those in need.

“We have students come up to the student workers sometimes and ask if we can spare a meal at the Loop or a swipe at Palms. Some students are going hungry, and that isn’t good for their education or health,” said Byrd, a graduate student in school counseling. “Their financial aid is going toward housing and other necessities. Food is often the last item on their list.”

The Pantry, which is open from 1-3 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, is located in the Division of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Office on the third floor of the Student Union. Students who want to receive assistance must not have a campus meal plan, be enrolled full time and present a valid student identification card at pick-up.

Students may access the service a maximum of once every two weeks, unless deemed otherwise by the Blazer Pantry Director. Any personal information is used for organizational purposes only and kept strictly confidential. The pantry is designed to be a private service.

If you need assistance or know of a student in need, contact the Office of Volunteer Services and Parent Programs at 229-333-5941. You may also go in person to the Division of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Office on the third floor of the Student Union during Blazer Pantry operational hours.