DECATUR, MIss. (WTOK) - Around 36% of college students didn't have enough food to eat in 2018. That's according to researchers at Temple University. To keep students from falling into that statistic, East Central Community College opened a food pantry.
The name of the food pantry is Warrior POST, which stands for providing others support together.
With the help of East Central Community College’s chapter of Phi Beta Lambda, ECCC is hoping to keep every student fed.
PBI Chapter Advisor Christy Ferguson says the idea began with two academic advisors who realized there was a need for food assistance on campus.
"We have students who stay in the dorm and they may not have food over the weekend, because the cafeteria is not open. So it will help those who are not able to go home somewhere or maybe they live further distances and just don't have the ability or financial means to go out to eat in Meridian over the weekend, so just basic needs were needed,” says Ferguson.
The Warrior POST is stocked with donated non-perishable food and other necessities that are available to students with demonstrated need.
"We had a battle of the cans in the months of November and December. We have five student organizations that have really outdone themselves and raised over 800 items that were donated to the pantry. We are reaching out to any local churches or any other people who would like to donate, but right now it's being supported by our local people here at EC,” says Ferguson.
Ferguson says the pantry has plenty of canned food items right now, but could use more breakfast food and paper products.
"On our website, we have our updated list of items that are needed and it tells you if we have 50 items of something, but only three of something else. It sort of lets you know what our low numbers are,” says Ferguson.
Ferguson says the goal is to prevent students from going hungry in silence.
"I do feel that for students to be able to come and not be worried about if they're going to have something to eat or when was the last time they ate or how long they need to stretch out that budget, I think that would really benefit their educational studies,” says Ferguson.
Students must submit an online application before taking advantage of the Warrior POST. Anyone interested in donating items can contact Ferguson.
The Warrior POST is located in room 211 in the Tucker Applied Technology Center.