For two semesters now, the space across from the bookstore has been occupied by Food for the Flock, a student-organized club that provides an on-campus food pantry for students who suffer from food insecurity while attending Salisbury University.
The pantry idea was created by the 2015 cohort of Presidential Citizen Scholars and is currently being managed by an executive board consisting of Morgan McGlone-Smith as director of logistics, Jazmine Anthony as director of inventory and Anya Galbreath as director of communications.
When talking about the original group of PCS students who started FFTF, McGlone-Smith remarked how they “saw an issue with food insecurity in the Salisbury community and then narrowed it down to the Salisbury campus.”
McGlone-Smith went on to say, “Students had the opportunity to get their degrees, but maybe not the opportunity to eat.”
From then on, the idea blossomed into a food pantry that would later turn into a club for students all around campus to come together and provide for each other’s needs.
FFTF may have been originally thought up in 2015, but it has been providing SU students with food and personal hygiene products for the last two semesters now.
When asked about the club’s success, Anthony said, “Overall, for the community, we do find that quite a few students come and utilize the food pantry.” She continued on to list the numbers of student visitors. “For our first semester, we had 71 students come overall, and for the second, we had 179," Anthony stated.
The need for the club is becoming more and more apparent every semester. As more students realize that FFTF is accessible to them, the pantry will continue to see more visitors, and the club will need more people to help run the bigger operation.
This is a club that lives and breathes based on the participation of the student body to not only donate goods, but to also volunteer.
“We really struggle with volunteers; it’s very difficult to find new volunteers,” Anthony said.
Anthony then went on to further discuss how the location of the pantry causes some unwanted problems.
“It’s difficult sometimes to get the word out, 'Like hey, we’re here.' [Because] we have a very awkward location,” Anthony said. “It’s hard to find us sometimes.”
Even with these struggles, the pantry continues to be a place where students of all statuses can come and receive the aid they need.
Galbreath touched on the stigma-free area FFTF provides.
“In the terms of who comes, like, the point of the pantry is to be stigma-free. We don’t ask for financial status or anything. I think that makes people more willing to come out and use the pantry,” Galbreath said.
This small project idea as seen massive growth in the last four years. This fact is something that the executive board recognized when it decided to create a paid position within FFTF.
With this new paid position, the board hopes to yield a greater response of visitors from the student body with the ability to extend hours of operation.
“We actually are now hiring somebody so we can have more open hours, so the pantry can be utilized more by those people,” Anthony said. “We do have awkward evening hours, so sometimes it can be harder to get there, so by hiring this person, we will hopefully help more people on campus.”
With this new hire, hopefully FFTF will be able to provide food and hygiene aid to more SU students at hours more conducive to the busy non-stop student lifestyle. As of right now, any student can come pick up what they need on Wednesday and Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m.
Any student is welcome and even encouraged to join FFTF.
This is a club that is helping correct a problem that many in Salisbury face: food insecurity. Students here at SU can now ease the worry of where their next meal is coming from with the help of the FFTF team.
By ANNIE GEITNER
Featured photo by Brendan Link Images