Central Michigan University Opens Student Food Pantry

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It’s a segment of the population oft overlooked when it comes to hunger but thanks to a new student-run food pantry, Central Michigan University is trying to tackle the issue on their campus.

“The more nourished you are, the more likely you are to be successful and be able to concentrate in class,” says Tony Voisin, CMU’s Associate Vice President of Student Affairs.

After years of planning, fundraising and research, any student in any situation can get reprieve every other week starting Tuesday.

“From what we have seen from the pre-registration, there’s been a mix of undergraduate and graduate students,” says graduate student Kourtney Koch, “Also a mix of students that maybe are just getting food for themselves or students who have a spouse and three children and need food around the holidays for them.”

According to the school’s research, 30 percent of students say they have struggled to afford food at some point, 3,000 of them may be struggling right now and when you are hungry, you are 15 times more likely to fail a class.

“It is probably going to be an issue for a long time, it’s probably been an issue for several years and we are just now finding out more and more about some of the challenges,” says Voisin, “Sometimes what we found is that students may ignore some of the basic needs they have in terms of food.”

A healthier student body means a more successful student body and maybe they get to the point where a food pantry on campus is needed no more.

“It’s not great to have students registered but to show that there is a need at CMU and we have all these students register,” says Koch, “It’s just great that we have this resources for students to use.”

The pantry was paid for through private donations and help from the school. Tuesday the pantry is looking to close their fundraising gap on Facebook, during the site’s “Giving Tuesday” dollar-for-dollar match. You can donate by visiting Facebook and searching for “CMU Food Pantry.”