Service and Social Change: Stuff the Pantry

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Photo courtesy of Cecelia Marquez

The St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s food pantry was established in Spring 2014.  It is located in Campus Center room 146, which doubles as the “commuter kitchen.”  The food pantry relies on student and faculty donations of non-perishable food items to run and it is available to all members of the community who need it, both students and faculty.  The Service and Social Change webpage on the college’s website describes the food pantry as operating “as a result of the kindness and support of our community” and under the motto “Give what you can, take what you need.”  

For the three weeks from Tuesday, October 4 through Tuesday, October 25, SMCM Service and Social Change campaigned to have everyone in the school community “stuff the pantry” in a food drive effort.  The organization explains that “we go through a decent amount of food,” and as a result of this, “the pantry was pretty barren and it needed to be filled as soon as possible so that food would be available to anyone who needed it.”  Even though Oct. 25 has passed, donations are accepted all year and can contain any types of non-perishable food items.  In fact, the organization notes that it would be good to have the pantry well-stocked in November “because of Thanksgiving and winter as well as National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week.”  

SMCM Service and Social Change will be holding the Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week from November 12-20.  It will include educational events on each weekday including a “sleep-out” and the Oxfam Hunger Banquet, where participants are randomly assigned a class status and given a greater or lesser amount of food based on it.  On Saturday, November 19 they will be hosting a service day looking for volunteers to assist local homeless resources.  The organization also oversees many on-campus student clubs that are socially-oriented or service-based such as Amnesty International and Habitat for Humanity.  

If you would like to donate to the pantry, you can either deposit your non-perishable food items in the labeled boxes across campus to be collected periodically or else bring them directly to the pantry.  The All-Student emails about the drive mention that donation boxes can be found in “Campus Center, Upper Monty, Schaefer Lobby, Goodpaster Lobby, Glendenning Lobby, Anne Arundel, Kent Lobby, the ARC, and Calvert Hall.”  In addition, the SMCM Service and Social Change staff has expressed that there are plans to have donation boxes in the residence halls next semester.  The organization revealed during the drive that “so far Calvert Hall and Public Safety have given us the largest donations.”  

If you have a need and are interested in taking advantage of the pantry’s resources, there is no need to feel ashamed, for the staff assures that the pantry is “an anonymous resource” that runs on the honor system and “we like to allow for people to come and go without note.”  A donation to the food pantry insures that you help somebody in your local school community.

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