Allowing Students to Hunger for Knowledge by Filling Their Bellies
What is one of the top complaints from college students? It doesn’t matter whether the student is traditional or not, most students struggle to make ends meet. Most students understand that this is a temporary poverty brought on by particular circumstance: when one is in school, he or she cannot work as much and has more expenses.
One new resource that has been popping up on campuses across the United States is in-house food pantries for students. Globe University-La Crosse is no exception. On April 2, 2012 Globe University-La Crosse opened its own food pantry for struggling students. This was the culmination of two quarters of service learning project by two different classes. Ree Nae Roberge-Greene, Student Services Coordinator, conceptualized the idea and asked Kathy Sims’ Global Citizen Class in the fall of 2011 to begin the stages of organizing the pantry. This class did some great footwork into the project. They created a list of other resources that can be provided to students who are struggling; they called businesses and asked for donations and vouchers for products that we would not be able to store on campus; they created preliminary policies and procedures in which the pantry would run; and they completed the application for The Hunger Taskforce, “the food pantries’ food pantry.”
Kathy’s Global Citizenship class did a lot of work in getting the ideas and logistics organized. In the winter 2012 quarter, June Vatland recruited her students in her Internet Marketing class to create marketing plans in which to get the word out about the pantry and consider options of sustainability. Using the creativity and logical thinking from students in both classes, the food pantry was able to open this month. There have already been applicants and their families who have benefited from the generosity of others. Service learning has made available a necessary service to a population in need. Not only did students have the opportunity to help others, but they were able carry out Globe’s mission of We Care.