Students feeding students: college food pantry

Students are stepping up to feed the hungry —hungry students on campus.

Twenty-eight percent of college-aged people living in Murray live below the poverty line, according to citydata.com. Students, faculty, and staff at Murray State University say they see this reflected in their student body, so they found the best way to fix this hunger on campus is with help from fellow students.

She’s never had a job like this, and Yalin Shannon Shen says feeding and helping her peers is most rewarding thing she’s done.

"I’m learning how to help people and how to care about them," Shen says.

Breakfast to dinner, Shen helps restock and organize the pantry with food that will feed people who walk right beside her on campus.

Students can take home a snack to get them through the day or a full bag at night.

Renita Avery-Meriwether, Murray State director of student life, says they saw hunger on campus and started this service to remedy it.

"We know sometimes students fall on hard times sometimes, and sometimes books are expensive, and they might need a little help," Avery-Meriwether.

Avery-Meriwether knows the pantry may embarrass students, so they never discriminate. "It’s just a service we do offer out students," she says.

It’s students helping students and, for Shen, it’s the smiles and thanks she sees.

"This job reminds me there are always people that need help. Don’t forget that part: to be appreciative about your life," Shen says.

The pantry at Murray State partners with Needline to raise supplies and funds for both locations. It’s open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for students.

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