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Ole Miss Student Organizations Team Up to Fight Hunger

Feb. 6, 2014 – Oxford, Miss. – The Associated Student Body is donating hundreds of dollars worth of disposable plates, napkins and eating utensils to the Ole Miss Food Bank to alleviate hunger among students in the Ole Miss community.

Members of the Associated Student Body stock shelves at the Ole Miss Food Bank.

Last fall, ASB invited people from all walks of life to take part in tailgating in the Grove at Everybody’s Tent before four home football games. Over the season ASB entertained and fed more than 3,000 guests, providing a space for everyone to gather in the Grove.
“We had great food at Everybody’s Tent, but afterwards we had extra napkins, plastic utensils and plates,” says Gregory Alston, president of the Associated Student Body at the University of Mississippi. “After talking with our advisors, we decided that donating these items to the Ole Miss Food Bank would be the best way to continue our impact on campus,” continues Alston. Adding that, “it gives us an opportunity to have conversations about the accessibility of healthy food on college campuses.”
The Ole Miss Food Bank welcomes these donations. Jessica Brouckaert, founding student director of the Ole Miss Food Bank says, “Canned goods and other non-perishables are essential, but people often forget the utensils we need to eat. We want student organizations and campus departments to keep in mind hungry students before getting rid of useful items.”
According to 2010-11 statistics from Mississippi Public Universities, Ole Miss has roughly 5,400 (31 percent) undergraduate students who are Pell grant recipients. These grants are provided to low-income students on a need-based scale. Including the medical school and four regional campuses, the University of Mississippi Department of Financial Aid spends $230.5 million on need-based and merit-based scholarships, grants, loans and work-study programs to promote access to postsecondary education.
Brouckaert maintains there is no set standard for students to use the Food Bank services. “We are accessible for all students, and we want to be as anonymous as possible. All you need to show us is your ID card,” she remarks.
ASB members at the Ole Miss Food Bank.
ASB members at the Ole Miss Food Bank.

The Ole Miss Food Bank relies on the support of volunteers and donations to foster a healthy college community by providing food for students in need. Students at universities across the country have started similar programs to address the issue of food accessibility, including most SEC schools. Brouckaert established the Ole Miss Food Bank in the fall of 2011 as a member of the ASB student senate.
In Oxford alone there are roughly five different nonprofits focusing on feeding hungry students in Lafayette County. Those include the Oxford Food Pantry, Love Packs, Meals on Wheels, More than a Meal, and Good Food for Oxford Schools.
The Ole Miss Food Bank is located in Kinard Hall, Room 213. Its normal operating hours may be found on their website. For more information about the Ole Miss Food Bank, contact Jessica Brouckaert atjgbrouck@go.olemiss.edu.
– William Fowler, Director of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, wdfowle1@go.olemiss.edu

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