By Courtney Cina
Hunger is called a silent crisis, and many Youngstown State University students are hungry.
So says YSU’s Student Government Association. That’s why it established a Food Pantry.
Caroline Smith, executive vice president of SGA, said, “You have to be a YSU student to be able to accept items and in need.”
The food pantry is a resource for all who are food insecure. It accepts donations from anyone.
The variety of food items offered are the usual pantry items, such as canned goods, produce and freezer foods. They also offer toiletries and hygiene items.
The food pantry also offers a career closet. This is for students who don’t have the means to purchase clothes for interviews and important speeches for class.
“When a student is in need of business attire, the food pantry also provides a helping hand for students to make the right impressions,” Smith said.
The food pantry plays an important role on campus and strives to meet the important needs of students. But what is needed for its efforts to be successful?
Justin Shaughnessy, vice president for financial affairs, says SGA has an executive budget to cover things like salaries and funding for various activities. Funding for the food pantry is voluntarily provided from the president and vice president’s salary.
However, funding is not always guaranteed. SGA suggested that a change need to to be made for the future of the food pantry.
“In a recent body meeting, SGA voted to have funding for the food pantry on the ballot so the student body can vote to award money to the food pantry each year, the source still being the president’s salaries,” Shaughnessy said.
Secured current and future funding of the food pantry is important for several reasons, Smith said. When there’s money to pay for student workers to operate the food pantry, she said, the pantry can offer a set schedule of hours and result in great accessibility.
Hadeal Yusuf, a student worker for the food pantry and the career closet, said the food pantry is always being put to great use.
“We house canned items all the way to toiletries for students, also a refrigerator and freezer were just purchased at the the beginning of this academic year,” Yusuf said.
This is a new resource to the food pantry this year. If SGA is able to secure sufficient funding, it plans to keep the refrigerator and freezer stocked.
The food pantry is located in Kilcawley in the Lariccia Lounge behind Jamba Juice and is open Monday and Wednesday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursday 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Donations are always welcomed.