by Leah Carpenter
The WVU Parkersburg food pantry is fully functioning and accepting donations to help with the remainder of the semester, Thanksgiving and Christmas break.
The food pantry is designed for students and faculty members on campus who need assistance for their basic needs. It is intended to strictly help the students, staff and faculty within the campus community, according to Liticia Siers, a food pantry workstudy.
It holds canned foods, cereals and boxed pastas to provide WVU Parkersburg members with staples of which to live.
The pantry also houses personal hygiene products such as deodorants, toothpastes and soaps to help individuals get by. All items in the food pantry are free to campus members.
“It is completely free of charge,” said Siers.
Not only does the food pantry provide food throughout the school year, but it hosts special drives and giveaways to gain awareness and items for the pantry.
Last year, the pantry gathered items for vegetable soup and gave it away to students in the cafeteria on campus. It has also given students and faculty in need Thanksgiving dinners from food donated through the pantry. Ten to 12 families were supplied with the meals.
“We supplied families with turkeys and side dishes as well,” Siers said. The pantry also gave ham dinners to students for Christmas.
Multiple canned food drives are completed throughout the campus community. The food pantry sends emails through the school to bring awareness to individuals who may not know the items are available.
Donations are accepted from students and faculty within the community. Food pantries in the area also donate surplus items to the school’s pantry to raise the stock. Fundraisers such as “Can Hunger,” “Hunger Games” and grants help supply the items.
Siers has been with the food pantry for a few semesters, and has seen an increase in donations throughout her time. Around the holidays are the most active days for collections. The food drives also bring awareness and items to the pantry.
“There is a true need,” Siers said.
At the moment, the pantry is in need of any and all donations to expand the stock. It is in desperate need of the basics, such as cereals, can foods and easily cooked boxed food. Anything will be accepted for those in need.
“I would like people to donate what they can,” Siers said. She encourages people to give what they can.
The pantry is located in the basement of WVU Parkersburg main campus. Their operating hours recently changed for the Fall 2016 semester. Monday through Friday the pantry is open at 11 a.m. On Mondays and Wednesdays, it will close at 2:30 p.m. and close at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.