Food Pantry to Open at Southeast Missouri State University With Help of Lambda Chi Members
For most college students, food insecurity is not a thought that typically surfaces. The next meal is guaranteed for the majority, whether through meal points or a home-cooked meal.
The reality, though, is that many students experience food insecurity across the country. To aid in the fight nationwide, Southeast Missouri State University will open the Redhawk Food Pantry in mid-March.
Though the food bank is a campus-wide initiative, it has been heavily influenced by the men of Lambda Chi.
Dr. Charles McAllister, Vice Provost and High Pi of the Delta Phi chapter, wanted his members to become involved in this project, following a survey showing 15 percent of students on the Southeast Missouri State campus have an inadequate food supply at least four times during the semester.
To set the project in motion, McAllister devised a Funding for Results proposal for the project which resulted in a three-year grant of $15,000. This money was used to cover the food bank’s initial start-up cost.
The involvement then shifted to the undergraduates: how the chapter could help, from donating money to offering help unloading goods, and more importantly, how brothers could assist in the food-raising process.
High Theta, Joseph Foster, says his chapter is starting the process by donating a certain amount of food. From there, Foster is sure that his chapter will be able to spread awareness about food insecurity across campus.
“It’s something that’s constantly around us that we aren’t even really thinking about it or having to worry about, where we are getting our meal from because a lot of us probably have a meal plan or we cook at home,” said Foster.
The main idea Foster hopes his fellow brothers take away from the Redhawk Food Pantry is that their efforts will benefit students just like them, trying to better themselves and become important cogs in the machine that is society.
“I think the biggest thing that this is doing besides sustaining students’ hunger and helping them become better students and part of the community is raising awareness that it’s…not only people in America but people going to college,” said Foster.
The Redhawk Food Pantry is currently in the middle of a food drive, which will end on March 3. The pantry is officially set to open following the conclusion, though it will not be fully up and running until the fall semester.
While the focus will center around feeding students in need, the addition of hygiene products and even formal apparel is on the horizon.
Foster hopes his chapter will become involved on a regular or biweekly basis while continuing to support the pantry’s efforts to end food insecurity once and for all at Southeast Missouri State.
“We are not just a bunch of frat boys,” said Foster, “We are actually more like fraternity gentlemen who are trying to better ourselves, and not only ourselves, but the community we live in.”