Many MU students have more to worry about as they walk to class every day than the next paper they have to write. Some are wondering where their next meal will come from or how they will feed their families. Broke college students work hard [AB1] and save every penny in order to pay rent, tuition, and most importantly, food. Tiger Pantry, the new food pantry that provides food for MU students, faculty, and staff members, now brings these students relief. Tiger Pantry officially opened its doors this October.
There are 25 fall 2012 full-time volunteers. The volunteers do inventory, take orders from the clients and deliver food. During inventory they keep track of what food is in stock and make sure that all of the food is not past the expiration date.
“I love working for Tiger Pantry,” co-operations coordinator, Amanda Gray, said. “The job was very challenging at first because we had to come up with the manual, which outlines the rules for the pantry. We make sure that the food is safe for the clients.”
The idea behind Tiger Pantry came from junior and Tiger Pantry director, Nick Droege. He was motivated to start up the organization after learning about a similar project at the University of Arkansas.
So far, Tiger Pantry has 60 different clients, some of which are families. Tiger Pantry has helped feed a total of 125 people. Every client can come get food once a month, and is supplied with enough food to last about seven days.
“I love doing service work,” Mackenzie Thiessen, the co-operations coordinator, said. “That is what makes me happy. It was a lot of work getting the pantry ready, but after the first day it was all worth it.”
Thiessen knew that all of his hard work was worthwhile when one of Tiger Pantry’s first clients came in with a family including a few children. He said that, as the volunteers brought the family the food, there was an amazed look on the dad’s face and tears in the mother’s eyes. Thiessen and the volunteers felt rewarded and touched after witnessing how much Tiger Pantry was helping this family.
“I got involved with Tiger Pantry through my business management class,” said senior MU student volunteer, Abby Rowland. “I have really enjoyed volunteering for this organization because I know I am helping people.”
Tiger Pantry is planning on making improvements for next year. They hope to be able to store and provide frozen and chilled foods for clients, and they also plan on accepting donations of fresh produce. In the springtime, Tiger Pantry is planning on providing seed packets for clients to grow their own gardens.
In order to become a Tiger Pantry client, you should fill out the information sheet and the request form at tigerpantry.missouri.edu. No proof of need is required.
Donations can be made to Tiger Pantry privately, or through food drives held by various MU organizations and clubs. Donation bins are located at the Center for Student Involvement, the Student Center Information Desk, the Women’s Center, the Memorial Union Registrars, and the Office Bookstore.