Local events partner with Student Food Pantry to bring more food to students

Student Ashley Watkins visiting the Food Pantry.

Student Ashley Watkins peruses some of the options in the Student Food Pantry. (Karoline Curcin/The Siskiyou)

The Student Food Pantry of Southern Oregon University will be partnering with other campus clubs and organizations this term in an effort to bring more food to students.

“The food pantry has made extremely successful and supportive partnerships with numerous departments and organizations on campus this year,” said Sophia Mantheakis, the Vista homeless and hunger coordinator and creator of the food pantry. “Our student client base grows every week, and we could not serve students without the amazing support of these programs and offices.”

The pantry has teamed up with the Multicultural Coalition for their “Club Fever” dance this Friday at 9 p.m. in the Stevenson Union Arena, tickets cost either $5 or two cans of food.

The pantry is also working with the Chamber Music Concerts during their two events this week, the first on Friday at 7 p.m. and the second on Saturday at 3 p.m. in SOU’s Music Recital Hall. Tickets are $20, and attendees are encouraged to bring food for donation.

Gretchen Rubin’s “Happiness Project” is Monday, April 8, at 7 p.m. in the Music Recital Hall at SOU. Although the event is free, students are encouraged to bring food for donation. Attending also gives you a shot at winning an iPad Mini.

The program was started at the beginning of Fall term by a group of coordinators at Southern Oregon University who wanted to design a food pantry program that would hope to reduce the financial burden on students. The program allows students with financial need to take up to 10 items of non-perishable food or hygiene supplies per week.

So far the pantry has served over 95 students and received over 2,000 pounds of nonperishable goods, produce, and household supplies since their introduction in September. About half of those 95 students return on a weekly basis. Due to high demand, the pantry has partnered up with local groups this term in an effort to get more donations.

Students can visit the pantry in the basement of the Stevenson Union on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m., or they can set up an appointment via email at foodpantry@sou.edu. Students must be prepared to fill out a waiver on the first visit and also to verify their enrollment at SOU.

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