“Starving college students” is a cliché not so light-hearted when it’s real. At UNCG, 1,400 students every year are literally going hungry. Some are struggling to get by without family support; some are homeless. The good news: Help is available, thanks to the Spartan Open Pantry, which has served more than 350 individuals since its founding nearly two years ago.
The Wesley-Luther Campus Ministry oversees the SOP for those who need a little help at the end of the month and for those who rely on the pantry for complete support. Individuals and groups keep the pantry operating with gifts of their time, food and cash donations. Located in the fellowship hall of College Place United Methodist Church at 509 Tate St., the pantry distributes food every Tuesday evening from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. (summer hours) or by appointment.
Staff at UNCG, along with community members, pitch in to help the SOP with weekly food drives. The Director, Emily Saine and volunteers pick up the food, sort it and stock the pantry. Strong support comes from UNCG’s Division of Student Affairs, College Place UMC, St. Mary’s House, UNCG’s Student Affairs Service Committee and UNCG’s Office of Leadership and Service Learning.
Want to help? Along with nonperishable foods such as pasta sauce, canned potatoes, rice, cereal and cooking oil, the SOP now accepts fresh fruits, vegetables and bread. Items may be dropped off Monday or Tuesday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Associated Campus Ministries (500 Stirling St.) and during distribution hours Tuesday nights at College Place UMC, along with other locations. For a full list of these collection points – or if your group or church would like to host a special collection – please email Andrew Mails, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wesley-Luther also provides gift cards to Food Lion and emergency meals to students between pantry distributions. Gifts to this fund may be made through The Wesley Foundation @ UNCG by including “Students in Need Fund” in the memo line of a donation check. Checks can be mailed to Wesley-Luther, ACM Center at UNCG, 500 Stirling St., Greensboro, NC 27402 or to Andrew Mails, ACM Center #206 through campus mail. To give online, please visit http://www.wesleyluther.org/.
Beyond monetary donations, the pantry needs volunteers to help with distribution, laundry, food collection and spearheading new food drives. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Emily Saine at email@example.com.