Campus food drive to benefit Replenish food pantry

By Drew Schertzer | 10/15/17 10:00pm


Every fall, as the academic year fully kicks into gear, students have a huge workload to worry about.  One thing they should not have to worry about, however, is finding something to eat.

Replenish, a food pantry at Grand Valley State University, is hosting a campus-wide food drive to help students in need of supplies to power through the semester. The food drive will run from Monday, Oct. 16, until Friday, Oct. 20. 

There are drop-off locations for donations located throughout the Allendale and Pew campuses. Meagan Mullen, a graduate assistant at the Gayle R. Davis Center for Women and Gender Equity—one of the drop-off locations—explained why she thinks people should donate. 

“I think that most people don’t understand that a lot of students on campus are food-insecure,” Mullen said. “This is the inability to gain access to sustainable foods.”

In fact, Mullen said one-third of GVSU students are food-insecure. Replenish’s goal is to help balance the food supply for students. Mullen believes that education on food insecurity is something that students should strive to attain, saying that while it’s okay to be struggling financially, a lot of students also resort to eating unhealthy foods every day. 

Replenish has six pantries to store donations in and a large refrigerator to preserve perishable goods as well. Replenish also accepts donations of hygienic items, like shampoo and toothpaste. Mullen suggested donating instant-serve items since a lot of students are cooking for themselves. 

“It’s a great resource for students to utilize what they have at Replenish,” said Cheryl Fischer, who works in the customer service department of GVSU’s Facilities Services. 

The Facilities Services building is one of seven drop-off locations. Other locations include the James H. Zumberge Hall and the Richard M. DeVos Center, located on Pew Campus. Fischer believes that students should utilize the food supplies if they are food-insecure.

If students want to obtain the resources being donated, they can swing by Replenish, located in the basement of the Kirkhof Center. In order to get supplies, students must present their student ID and fill out a short survey. Replenish is designed to offer items to meet the short-term challenges some students face, but Mullen said they take note of students who often need the support. This way, Mullen explained, Replenish can help students get access to food stamps or other methods to help support them.

Replenish is always looking for donations or people to help volunteer. People can also get involved by writing a check to the Center for Women and Gender Equity with "Replenish" in the memo line. Mullen highlighted cooking demos she has done, too, as a resource for students to learn how to prepare meals. 

To learn more about where all of the drop-off locations are, or for a longer list of items that can be donated, visit www.gvsu.edu/replenish/.

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