September 6, 2018
18-176

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Kimberly Cannon, Graduate Assistant

The VSU Drop-N-Shop Opens, Provides for Student Needs

The Valdosta State University Drop-N-Shop is a resource providing students with free food, professional attire, and more.

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State University Drop-N-Shop has opened its doors to assist students in need.

Located on the first floor of the Student Union, the Drop-N-Shop serves as a resource to students for free nonperishable food, personal care items, professional attire, and more.

Niki Turley, director of the Department of Student Leadership and Volunteer Services, said the Drop-N-Shop is the work of the students from the 2017-2018 Emerging Leaders Program. It’s a resource for students and run by students.

Sylandi Brown, student assistant for campus service with the Department of Student Leadership and Volunteer Services, said the Drop-N-Shop was created to help combat growing food insecurity on campus.

Food insecurity is defined as having inconsistent access to an adequate supply of food, and according to the hunger-relief organization Second Harvest of South Georgia, Lowndes County is among the nation’s top 10 percent for food insecurity in the general population.

College students are among those susceptible to food insecurity.

The National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness’ 2016 Hunger on Campus Report found that approximately 75 percent of food insecure college students received financial aid with more than half — 52 percent—receiving Pell Grants. At VSU this fall, approximately 48 percent of undergraduate students received the Pell Grant, according to the VSU Office of Financial Aid.

However, the Drop-N-Shop’s services expand beyond providing food.

The Drop-N-Shop also offers free professional attire, as Brown said the reality is that not every student can afford business-appropriate clothing for job interviews.

“We want to make sure every student is set for success,” she said.

Jacob Bell, Student Government Association president, said he was thrilled the Department of Student Leadership and Volunteer Services was raising awareness and tackling these issues.

“Providing an accessible solution to Blazers facing food insecurity is paramount,” Bell said. “I’m also excited we will now have professional attire available to us to ensure we are set up for career success.”

Every member of the Blazer Nation is encouraged to support the Drop-N-Shop by making donations or volunteering.

Brown said the Drop-N-Shop exemplifies the Blazer Creed, particularly the value of citizenship.

The Blazer Creed reads, “Every Blazer has an interest in the well-being of the community, and, therefore, a duty to stay informed, to make positive contributions, and to offer support to those who need help.”

Students interested in utilizing the services provided by the Drop-N-Shop should fill out an application on BlazerLink under the Student Leadership and Volunteer Services page. Any personal information obtained remains confidential.

Only full-time students with a valid 1Card are eligible for these services.

Turley said there is no limit to the items students may take from this free resource, and students are allowed to shop once every two weeks.

The Drop-N-Shop is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Please contact the Department of Student Leadership and Volunteer Services at slvs@valdosta.edu or (229) 293-6203 to learn more about donating or volunteering at the Drop-N-Shop.

ON THE WEB:
https://www.valdosta.edu/student/leadership/
https://valdosta.presence.io/organization/volunteer-services/forms
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