In our ardently individualistic society, asking for help is a sign of weakness. The reality is that reaching out for support and help is a great sign of courage and awareness. If you’ve recognized that you need assistance in some way and then seek out that assistance, you are an incredibly mature individual.
Students facing food insecurity have a place to turn. Eastern Michigan University’s Swoop’s Food Pantry is here to provide confidential and discreet help. The pantry is located at 104 Pierce Hall. According to Sarah Schrimscher, a bachelor’s of social work intern, the pantry sees around 200 students every month.
Schrimscher says food insecurity is common among college students with three in four students facing hunger according to a recent study.
“College is expensive and many students have to choose between paying for groceries, textbooks, housing, medical expenses, transportation, and much, much more,” she says. “Pantries like Swoop’s provides students with food assistance and other basic necessities to help break down some of the barriers students face to earning a college degree and lessen the financial burden of college.”
All students at EMU who are enrolled in classes are eligible to receive food from the pantry (three in the case of emergency) after filling out this intake form. According to the pantry website, the purpose of the pantry is to provide food and emergency non-food needs for students. The pantry also offers personal care items.
Schrimscher says one of the main goals of the founder, Haley Moraniec was to break down the stigma of experiencing hunger by creating a welcoming environment. The pantry staff attend workshops in which they learn about confidentiality.
“All staff at Swoop’s are friendly and are more than willing to help,” she says.
Again, discreteness is values by Swoop’s Food Pantry; students shop one at time, allowing for privacy. Regular hours are from Monday through Friday, noon to 5 PM. Food is available on Saturdays from 9 AM – 1:30 PM in 317 Marshall Hall. Students can also make appointments to pick up food by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in donating to or volunteering with the pantry, you can find more information here (including a list of the pantry’s current needs). Donations can be dropped off at 317 Marshall.