Students sometimes have to make the choice between putting money towards school expenses or having food for the week. Stan State aims to relieve some of this stress by providing aid through the Warrior Food Pantry and the Free Food Box Distribution.
The Basic Needs Program is focused on addressing the issues that are barriers to student’s success, both inside and outside of the classroom. The program started years ago, thanks to students, faculty, staff, and administrators that wanted to support any students that may be struggling.
Jen Sturtevant, CARE Manager says, “Its initial inception was really homegrown... over the years it has grown with continuous support from the campus community as well as the local community... [providing] a variety of on-and off-campus resources.”
Using the Warrior Food Pantry or the Food Box Program provides additional support so that students don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from.
"It’s beneficial for students because they can rely on accessing the pantry once a week and utilize this service to relieve a financial burden and focus more on their studies,” says Sturtevant.
The Warrior Food Pantry is a great resource for students to be able to have access to fresh produce and non-perishable food items. The pantry also has a number of gluten free items. If anyone has specific allergies, they can let the staff members working know, and they'll accommodate the student’s needs.
Food items are not the only thing you can get from the pantry. The pantry also includes hygiene products such as toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, laundry detergent, toothbrushes and toothpaste. There are also feminine hygiene products such as pads and tampons and even baby diapers.
The Warrior Food Pantry is free for students and the only requirement needed to enter is your warrior ID number. With social distancing protocols, students are required to wear a mask as well as follow the 6 feet apart markers when going to the pantry. The staff is also required to wear a mask, gloves, and be behind a plexiglass when distributing the pantry items.
Yesenia Maldonado (senior, Communication Studies), says, “I would recommend the Warrior Food Pantry to my peers. I have done it before because I know what it is like when money is tight. School is already expensive enough and having a place to get free food and hygiene products weekly is a major help for students.”
Students who are experiencing food insecurity can also utilize Stan State’s food box distribution. Similar to getting financial aid to pay tuition, textbooks, or other costs of living, utilizing the box distribution is a form of food aid.
“Students can come get [a] box food once a month with non-perishable food items. We usually give protein. Last week we had pulled pork and some months we've had ground beef” Sturtevant claims.
With social distancing protocols, the distribution is held at the University Circle and it is a curbside distribution. Students can drive up in their vehicle and don't have to get out of their cars.
If students do not have a vehicle, they can still walk up and receive the box with a mask. The food box is free for all students, and a quick form provided by the staff must be signed on arrival.
“[The] application is provided to you when you come. We start a new application each semester. You sign and date it," says Sturtevant. She also notes that the pens or clipboards used are disinfected before being used again.
The Warrior Food Pantry as well as the Food Box Distribution are Stan State programs geared to helping their students. Whether you are a student who is experiencing financial issues or not, these programs welcome you.