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ASU’s Student Food Pantry Receives $25k National Grant to Assist with Student Food Availability

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The following press release was sent to Watch The Yard by Alabama State University and written by Kenneth Mullinax

Alabama State University’s Student Affair’s Food Pantry that is located at its Counseling Center has been awarded a grant of $25,000 from the ECMC Foundation through the Alabama Campus Coalition for Basic Needs, which the University is a member.

The grant will support food availability and security for ASU students to help ensure that their nutritional needs are met, which in turn supports student health and student retention according to Dr. Davida Haywood, ASU’s vice president for Student Affairs.

“ASU is pleased to have been awarded this $25,000 grant. The monies and resources received from it will allow the University to continue to provide much needed tangible food services for our students,” Haywood said.  

“ASU’s food pantry, under the auspices of the University’s Counseling Center, allows Alabama State’s students to complete a personal inventory prior to having a choice about the types of food they need from it.” 

The aim of the Los Angeles-based ECMC grant is to help students in higher education from underserved populations by enhancing and supporting their basic nutritional needs, which helps them with their health, educational outcomes and ultimately their retention in school.

The Alabama Campus Coalition for Basic Needs is comprised of 10 four-year universities in Alabama, which, like ASU, has each has received a $25k grant from ECMC.

Members of the coalition include: Alabama State University, Alabama A&M University, Auburn, Jacksonville State University, Troy University, Tuskegee University, University of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of North Alabama and University of South Alabama.

Haywood said that through this grant, ASU will be able to acquire additional non-perishable food items for students in-need such as canned and boxed goods and more.

“This grant will also allow us to move towards being able to provide perishable items such as milk, eggs, and butter; as well as helping us to work with our campus garden peers so as to provide fresh produce for students,” Haywood said. “We also have a goal of initiating conversations with our campus food service provider about how unused block dollars on our students’ meal plans can be donated to students in need.”

The supervisor of ASU’s Food Pantry at the University’s Counseling Center is Brenda Kennedy. She says that this grant is just what it needs to expand its campus resources and services for ASU’s students.

“This grant is great for our food pantry and wonderful for our students who sometimes need just a little help at times,” Kennedy said. “The first assistance our Food Pantry received was a gift of $5,000 from ASU’s President, Dr. Quinton Ross, who also understands the importance of addressing the importance of student food needs,” she added.According to a news release, the Alabama Campus Coalition for Basic Needs has as its mission to evaluate activities based on changes in food insecurity prevalence, campus resources and student outcomes; share information on best practices identified as a result of data obtained from all 10-member institutions and ultimately achieve hunger-free campuses statewide across Alabama.

“Our ultimate objective at ASU is to have a zero-hunger campus,” Haywood said.

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