College is a heavy financial burden to bear and, in some cases, that burden can prevent students from having enough money to pay for a meal at the end of the day. Haley Moraniec, a social work major at Eastern Michigan University, was doing research on food insecurity in 2014 when she recognized the need for a food assistance program at EMU. After researching what other schools had done to address this issue, she presented her proposal to EMU's Board of Regents this past February. And now, after a lot of hard work and dedication, Swoop's Student Food Pantry opens its doors Monday, September 21.

Staffed by student volunteers, the student food pantry will allow enrolled EMU students to obtain food items such as canned goods, fruits and vegetables, soup, etc. The volunteers and staff are trained in confidentiality and food safety. The program is hoping to take the worry of finding food off the backs of students, who are already spending a great deal of their time focused on getting their degrees. The food pantry is located on the third floor of the Marshall Building in room 376. It will be accessible Monday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Additionally, the pantry will be open on the first Friday of each month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

With the sponsorship of Food Gatherer's and donations from EMU affiliates, the new student food pantry is stocked and ready for its grand opening. But the success of the food pantry is going to be dependent upon the University community. The pantry will be hosting food drives and events throughout the year to support the continuation of this program. For more information regarding the details of the student food pantry, how you can donate, or how to get involved, please visit http://www.emich.edu/swoopspantry.