FOOD PANTRY FOR PIONEERS

By Kenzie Frantz

Malone’s new food pantry is a resource available to all students: undergraduate, graduate, resident, commuter, full-time, part-time, traditional students, and nontraditional students. The pantry currently offers necessities such as food, drinks, and toiletries to anyone who needs them at no cost to the student. The pantry is located on the second floor of the Randall Campus Center (otherwise known as the barn) next to the Student Senate room. Students can access the pantry by contacting any of the following: Rebekka Russell, an instructor of social work; Nicole Bell, a social work student intern that works in the pantry or the Office of Student Development, which has staff members in the office Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Even though the pantry is currently collecting items for students in need, the long-term goal is to expand the pantry to anyone else in the community who would need it, especially anyone in the Malone community; including faculty, adjuncts and all other staff. The idea of the pantry came from recent alumni Bob Hurless, who was a social work major and the co-president of the social work club. The food pantry idea came about my sophomore year in a communications class with Ann Lawson,” Hurless said. “I was required to give a 20-30 minute presentation on something I was interested in.” This project led to the food pantry, sparked by Hurless’s passion for feeding the hungry. It was not just the project that had Hurless thinking about the community’s hunger, but the category “food desert” that the majority of Canton falls under as well. A food desert is an area in which at least one-third of the community has no access to fresh groceries within one mile of their residence. During Hurless’s time at Malone, many grocery stores on the south side of Canton had closed, making fresh groceries extremely hard to come by. “The Hall of Fame gas station was the only place within walking distance on the south side of Canton that had some essential things; they had bread, nonperishables, milk… milk was going for nearly five dollars a gallon,” Russell said. “This was a justice issue as well, showing how people living in poverty were being taken advantage of.” The local poverty issues made people like Hurless and Russell begin to wonder how much of an effect this was having on students. With Hurless’s ideas and Russell’s support, they put their plan into action. The two of them are not working alone. Starting in fall 2020, they were able to create a sophomore internship in the social work department and hire the help of Bell. Bell is able to create an opportunity for peer to peer interaction. “For people who want to keep anonymous I will deliver materials to them myself,” Bell said. Alternatively, if someone wants to get their own materials they just pick them up and sign out what they took themselves. Students can also reach out to someone from the pantry to request items that the pantry may not have, and the staff will do their best to accommodate that need. If you or someone you know is in need of food or toiletry materials, please stop by the pantry in the barn and they would be more than happy to help. Malone is a friendly support based community, and no one wants to see a fellow pioneer go hungry. Student Development can grant student access to the pantry Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Or, for peer-to-peer interaction, Bell is available in the pantry Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., or you can contact her anytime by phone, (216) 242-7244, or email,nmbell1@malone.edu.You can also follow the Malone food pantry Instagram: @malone_foodpantry. To stay anonymous and work one on one with Rebekka Russell to get things from the pantry, fill out the following Google Form: https://bit.ly/MUfoodpantry

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