The Lion’s Share Food Pantry

What?

The Lion’s Share (Campus Food Pantry)

Who?

For members of the MU Campus Community (Faculty/Staff/Students)

When?

Open for distribution Monday – Friday 8 AM -5 PM

Closed on Wednesdays 10AM -12 Noon

Where?

The Lion’s Share Food Pantry is located in the Matthews Ministry Center. To access, visit the Religious Life Offices located in the Campus Ministry Suite, just inside the entrance from the Quad side of the Matthews Ministry Center.

Why?

Hunger and food insecurity are realities everywhere – even on college and university campuses.  Today’s university students face serious financial challenges. Contrary to the stereotype, today’s typical student is not a recent high school graduate who lives in a residence hall and is supported by his or her parents. The reality is much more complicated:

Roughly 73% of college students are nontraditional students, meaning that they meet one of six criteria: they attend college part-time, are employed full-time, are financially independent, must provide for dependents, are a single parent, or do not have a high school diploma.

Nearly 28% of students are considered highly non-traditional (they meet four or more of the criteria) and 28% are moderately non-traditional (they meet two or three of the criteria).

Given these challenges, many students find it difficult to support themselves while also paying for college.  Four out of five students work part-time jobs, averaging 19 hours per week, while attending college. However, only 18% of students in one study reported being able to cover their college expenses by working a job. Instead, 41% depend on financial aid to cover their college expenses and 16% utilize scholarships. Fewer than one in five students meet the stereotype of having parents who are able to pay all of their college expenses.

The result is that a surprising number of students live at or near the poverty level. The national poverty rate in 2013 was 14.5%, but for students who were not living with relatives or on campus the poverty rate was nearly 52%.4 [1]

One common side effect of poverty is food insecurity – not having reliable access to sufficient, nutritious food. At this time, no comprehensive national study has been completed.[2]

The establishment of The Lion’s Share Campus Food Pantry is in response to the demonstrated need in the MU Campus Community.

Need Assistance?

The Lion’s Share is intended to assist members of our campus community who experience food insecurity.  We will not ask guests of The Lion’s Share to verify income or need.  We will trust that guests will use The Lion’s Share only when they have a need to use the service.  We recognize that some people who use The Lion’s Share will have a chronic need for food while others may only have a temporary need that may not be reflected in a financial statement of need at a community food bank. The Lion’s Share is committed to protecting the privacy of its guests and to providing food to those in need within our campus community. We ask that individuals provide their MU ID for the purpose of data collection only. This data will be used to ensure that we provide the best possible services to you and are able to maintain the necessary funds and donations to provide this vital service. Use of The Lion’s Share will not become part of the individual’s student or employee record nor will your identifying information be shared outside the Religious Life Administrative area.

[1] National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education, “Nontraditional Undergraduates,” 2002, http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2002/2002012.pdf.
[2] Tyler Kingkade, “Most college students working part-time jobs, but few pay their way through school: Poll,” Huffington Post, August 7, 2013, http://www.hu ngtonpost.com/2013/08/07/college-students-jobs_n_3720688.html

Want to Donate?

Items most needed:

Canned Fruit

Macaroni & Cheese Cups

Canned Vegetables

Pasta mixes

Muffins

Popcorn

Raisins

Canned/Dried Beans

Fruit Cups

Soups

Ravioli and Canned Pasta

Crackers

Granola Bars

Canned/Boxed/Bottled Juices

Canned Tuna

Pop tarts

Canned Chili

Canned Meats

Snack Packs/Pouches

Rice

Nuts

Shelf-stable milk

Cereal

Peanut Butter

Oatmeal

Pudding Cups

Drinks

Water

Men’s Toiletries

Women’s Toiletries

Want to Help?

  • Volunteer to host a food drive to stock the pantry
  • Volunteer to staff periodic information table in Berns Student Center to inform the campus of the mission and presence of the LION’S SHARE
  • Become a trained Lion’s Share volunteer for Mon and Wed “open” hours
  • Pray for this ministry to be an effective outreach to meet the needs of the MU Campus Community
  • Volunteer to manage the data collection and reports for The Lion’s Share
  • Become a trained ambassador for food insecurity and The Lion’s Share (to speak to clubs and orgs in the campus community)

Need More Information?

Contact the Rev. Kelli W Taylor at ktaylor@methodist.edu or (910) 630-7515.