There’s no doubt that college is expensive. After paying for tuition, textbooks and transportation, many students find that there isn’t that much money left over for food. Sometimes, UMHB students can have a hard time getting enough to eat. However, a new resource for students has opened to help alleviate this problem.
UMHB Enactus is an organization that focuses on bringing about change through entrepreneurial action. In order to combat food insecurity among UMHB students, the organization founded The Source, an on-campus food pantry specifically for students. The Source opened for the first time on Feb. 4.
Dr. Terry Fox, a professor of Business Computer Information Systems, serves as the faculty adviser for Enactus and was instrumental in founding The Source.
In 2018, Fox was approached by Dr. James King, another business professor, about opening a food pantry on UMHB’s campus.
“He (King) shared with me a newspaper article that was in the Waco paper about Baylor opening up a food pantry on their campus,” Fox said. “We worked with Dr. Skaggs and put together a survey that we sent out last spring to all of our students.”
The results showed that over 40 percent of UMHB students have experienced food insecurity in the past year.
When they realized the severity of this problem, they knew that something had to be done to fix it. Fox presented the idea to the members of Enactus, who were enthusiastic.
“Dr. Skaggs and I worked throughout the summer and last fall putting together what a campus food pantry would look like,” Fox said. “We’ve had a variety of folks across campus that have pitched in and helped with this project.” After plenty of hard work and many generous donations, The Source is officially open.
Sadly, food insecurity is a problem on many college
campuses. According to The Source’s page on UMHB’s website, “Food insecurity among college students is a cause of poor academic performance, poor class attendance, lack of proper school supplies, and dropping out of college.” Opening The Source is a major step toward eliminating food insecurity among UMHB students.
The Source is located in Mabee 228, and it is open on Mondays and Thursdays from 4-5:30 p.m. It is also available by appointment.
Students will be asked to show their Cru card upon arriving at The Source, but they will not need to provide their name.
Students may also complete an optional questionnaire regarding the food products they need the most.
Each student can select up to 15 items per day, and volunteers will be available to answer any questions. With
some smaller food items, such as granola bars, students can take more than one and have it count as one item.
Students are asked to bring their own shopping bag or box to carry their food.
Fox wants students to know that they shouldn’t feel afraid or ashamed to come to The Source. “Don’t worry about there being a stigma,” he said. “This is simply a perfectly acceptable alternative way of getting the food that you need.”
According to their page, “The Source is not intended to meet a student’s entire food needs, but rather be a source wherein students will not need to worry about having to make a tradeoff between school and food, and will not have to go to bed hungry.”
The Source is a great resource for students, and a huge step towards eliminating hunger.