The Eagle’s Nest Food Pantry celebrates its one year anniversary this past week. The food pantry derived from the Student Association of Social Work with a mission to provide on-campus resources to USM students, staff and faculty.
Director of Community Engagement Amanda Brown said that they saw a need for students on campus and they knew that something had to be done. They wanted to provide a place where the USM community could have basic necessities whether they had the money for it or not.
“The idea had been discussed for a couple of years, even before I had become a part of the program,” Brown said. “So, I did get to experience it coming from an idea, to reality.”
The out-of- state students, and international students are some of the one who are most affected by lack of access to food. It is especially hard for those students during the holidays when access to food options are limited. The increase in tuition has also taken its toll on the USM community as a whole.
On Oct. 12, 2016, Eagle’s Nest Food Pantry finally opened in the basement of the Hub. They wanted to provide nutritious and healthy food for students both on and off campus. Though students do have the option of having food provided by The Fresh, they don’t always get the food that they need. They not only provide food, but also hygiene products and school supplies. The Eagle’s Nest Food Pantry strictly operates on community monetary and non-perishable food donations. Though they have been successful in their first year, they plan to expand even more this year. The food pantry now offers bilingual services, recipes that are dorm friendly for on-campus students and free health screenings offered by Southern Mississippi Rural Health Initiative. They will be also be implementing the new Backpack program which will be filled with child friendly foods sent home to children every weekend at the Child Development Center.
Thanks to volunteers and students, the food pantry was able to stay open to provide food for the USM community during the summer. If you are interested in donating, stop by the Hub basement and drop off your items there. For those who are interested in volunteering, pick up volunteer packet or visit their website at email@example.com The Eagle’s Nest Food Pantry also accepts online donations on their website. Visit eaglefever.usm.edu to in order to give your donation.