The School of Music hosted its first annual Eagle’s Nest Food Pantry Benefit Concert Thursday, Nov. 1 at Marsh Hall Auditorium.
In collaboration with the School of Social Work, the concert proceeds benefited the campus food pantry, which serves students, faculty and staff.
Director of the School of Music Richard Kravchak, Ph.D., explained why the food pantry is important, especially to international students.
“We are aware that there is a lot of hunger here on campus with students, with staff and even with some of our faculty. We saw a lot of that with our own music students. We have a number of international students who just don’t have two nickels to rub together when they get here,” Kravchak said.
“I am so in awe of them, they are such brave people that come to a new country to try to have a better life. So, the least we can do is help them to get something to eat.”
Kravchak said faculty in the music department saw a need on campus and used their love of music to help.
“Dr. Galit Kaunitz has started a program where the School of Music has a donation bucket in our main office, and many of our faculty bring in food items every week,” Kravchak said. “So, this event was a natural output of our interests in making sure that everyone here has enough to eat because if you don’t have enough to eat you can’t learn, you can’t do anything.”
The benefit concert was free to the public but donations of non-perishable food items were accepted at the door. The School of Social Work was on scene to help collect the donations and educate members of the campus community about Eagles Nest, which opened in 2016.
Graduate social worker student Icerica Gardner said Eagle’s Nest serves the Southern Miss community weekly, but some people still do not know about the pantry.
“The Eagle’s Nest is a resource for Southern Miss students and staff,” Gardner said. “Anyone can come in on Wednesdays and Fridays and shop for what they need, but they are only allowed to come in once a day. I am glad that we are having the benefit concert because people on campus still really do not know about us, and this can help get the word out so we can continue to grow.”
Graduate social work student Lumay Lawrence said the Eagles Nest is set up like a grocery store to present a more welcoming environment.
“We have shopping carts,” Lawrence said. “You can come in, grab your basket, and you can pick out what you want.”
The next benefit concert is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 at University Baptist Church. For more information about the concerts, contact Kaunitz at email@example.com or call 601-266-6042.
For more information about Eagle’s Nest, visit their Facebook page.