Mississippi College Food Pantry Serves Needs
Supporters of Mississippi College’s Food Pantry say the new initiative serves vital needs on the Clinton campus.
Pantry volunteers offer food and hygiene products as a free service to MC students as well as employees.
Created through the Office of Christian Life & Leadership, the Food Pantry opened its doors on April 1. So far, so good for the innovative enterprise in the basement of the B.C. Rogers Student Center. During the first few weeks, more than 55 students shopped there.
The Food Pantry is an essential piece of the Christian university’s service mission. It’s a case of MC students helping other classmates in need.
“We have received amazing support from students, especially members of Clubs & Tribes through donations and volunteers in the Pantry,” administrator Becca Benson says.
Since January, Benson, the assistant dean for Christian Leadership, teamed with Shari Barnes, director of the Community Service Center, to create the innovative program. The Foundations of Servant Leadership class worked well with both staff members to bring the project to fruition.
The Food Pantry project utilizes support from the Mississippi College family in partnership with community organizations. Seeking to end hunger, nonprofits like the Mississippi Gleaning Network provide a helping hand.
Benson is elated to see such productive partnerships reap benefits to make the Food Pantry successful. It is a case of Mississippians working in unity “to honor the Lord by meeting the needs in our community,” says the MC graduate.
“We pray the MC Food Pantry will be a resource and blessing to those experiencing food insecurity.”
Leaders with the Mississippi Gleaning Network, including Langston Moore and Leigh Ann Blalock, are thrilled to see the growth of MC’s Food Pantry. Similar service-oriented food pantries are being developed at several other Mississippi institutions this spring.
An MC graduate, Moore serves as the Mississippi regional director of the Society of St. Andrew. The charitable organization brings farmers and others together to harvest fresh produce and share it with hungry people in their communities.
Moore served as co-founder of the Mississippi University and College Anti-Hunger Alliance that focused on on-campus food pantries.
“I am overly proud of my alma mater for taking the necessary steps to make this service available for students and employees of the university,” Moore said. “Feeding the hungry was one of Jesus’ key principles and continues to be with Christians today.”
Reports from the nonprofit Feeding America network show food insecurity is a problem on many campuses nationwide. Food insecurity poses the potential to harm college students’ ability to reach their educational and professional goals. At least 129 Feeding America network food banks across the USA are fighting hunger among college students.
MC’s Food Pantry relies on assistance from donations, and those efforts should continue for years to come. Moore believes there’s a need for food pantries at every college campus in Mississippi.
Pantry hours on the Clinton campus are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 1:30 p.m. until 4 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters. The facility offers grab-n-go bags prior to semester breaks.
For more details, go to https://www.mc.edu/students/christian/mc-food-pantry/about.