Food, a necessity of life and an integral part of Louisiana culture, isn’t as easy to come by for some students. The Office of the Dean of Students is leading efforts to help students in need with the LSU Food Pantry, which opened in August of this year.
“We have a need at LSU,” said Mike Mosley Jr., graduate assistant for Student Advocacy & Accountability. “It’s something people don’t really talk about. But even in the few months I’ve been here, I’ve seen so many students who’ve said they didn’t know how they’d be eating if it wasn’t for the Food Pantry.”
Any student enrolled in the current semester or enrolled for the next regular semester, even if between semesters, is eligible to receive assistance if they are without food or low in food security.
“So you just come in and show your student ID, just verify that you’re a student,” Mosley said. “You come and grab what you need. We try to make the process as simple as possible because for most students it’s already an uncomfortable step to come ask for something.”
The Food Pantry is in need of volunteers and donations to help meet the needs of the LSU community. Donations of non-perishable food items are much appreciated, as are monetary donations, which can be made online.
“We always accept donations,” Mosley said. “Students drop off, or different people drop off things all the time. The process is you just drop something off, we just ask that if it’s bigger than two bags to give us a heads up so that I can make sure we have the adequate support to be able to receive it.”
Right now, the pantry is made up of many shelves that are organized by food item. Mosley is hoping they get enough food items to expand, while also fulfilling the needs of LSU students.
“That’s not to say that we can provide every single thing students need, but we definitely want to be a support system for them,” Mosley said. “We do a lot of stuff to help our outside community, but this is just an initiative to make sure that we’re really taking care of our own community.”
Mosley said pasta and canned fruit are popular items, but their wish list also includes canned or packaged tuna or chicken, canned soups, stews, chili, pasta sauce, peanut butter, canned vegetables, spices, rice, and dried beans.
“You never know about the person siting next to you, while you’re trying to deal with class, they might not know where their next meal is coming from, it’s something that we don’t often think of as a community,” Mosley said.
Other universities with food pantries often partner with the food bank in their area. Mosley said they are waiting until they have been open for six months before they can become an official partner with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.
The Food Pantry is located in room 333 in the Student Union. Anyone can drop off donations or students can pick up food Monday-Friday, from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
For more information, visit saa.lsu.edu/food-pantry.