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Sept. 21, 2016
Northwest Missouri State University is adding another resource to ensure its students and employees can be successful without going hungry.
The University this week opened the Pay it Forward Food Pantry to provide a source of food and necessities for students and employees who may be experiencing food insecurity and hunger.
The initiative, which a group of Northwest staff members have discussed for nearly a year, is being spearheaded by the University’s Office of Student Affairs. Northwest’s Pay It Forward Committee dates back to 2008 when Student Affairs established a loan program to assist students who are struggling financially and connect them with resources to be successful financially, socially and academically.
“While working with our Pay it Forward students, we noticed an increase in the need for food and personal hygiene items,” Sue Nickerson, the executive secretary for the Office of Student Affairs, said. “We felt that barriers such as food insecurity should not prohibit our students from achieving a college degree.”
The food pantry, located in the Material Distribution Center adjacent to the University Police Department, is accessible from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and staffed by University Police. Northwest’s Pay It Forward Committee will stock and maintain the pantry shelves to ensure quality products are available.
The food pantry will offer non-perishable foods, such as canned fruits and vegetables, boxed macaroni and cheese, and packaged goods. It also will offer personal hygiene items, such as soap, shampoo, toilet tissue, feminine products and toothpaste.
Students and employees interested in accessing the food pantry should visit the University Police front desk and ask for assistance. Students and employees must present their Bearcat Card to an officer, who will then provide access to the food pantry.
Northwest accepts food donations for the pantry at the Student Engagement Center in the J.W. Jones Student Union and at the University Police Department. Monetary donations to support the food pantry should be directed to the Northwest Foundation and are tax deductible; Northwest employees may give monetarily by completing a Faculty and Staff Annual Giving Campaign form and designating a gift to the Pay it Forward Food Pantry.
Northwest’s Pay It Forward Committee consists of Edward Gibson IV, coordinator of diversity and inclusion; Becca Lawrence, director of equity and accessibility; Sue Nickerson, executive secretary in the Office of Student Affairs; and Amee Wilmes, senior assistant director of federal and state programs in the Office of Financial Assistance.
The Food Pantry Committee consists of Gibson, Nickerson, Lawrence and Wilmes as well as University Police Chief Clarence Green; Anne Long, senior human resources generalist; Spencer Martin, senior food service director; Lori Steiner, executive director of advancement services in the Office of University Advancement; and Alex Taylor, Greek Life graduate assistant.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468