When Andrew Newby first saw the kitchen in the University of Mississippi’s George Street House, he saw an opportunity to help connect his student veterans with the rest of campus while also meeting a need for many other students.
The kitchen at the George Street House, the new home for UM’s Office of Veteran and Military Services, has become a satellite location for Grove Grocery, the university’s food pantry that provides free meals and some hygiene items for students and employees.
At this new secondary location, Ole Miss students and employees can pick up groceries or prepare a ready-made freezer meal on the stove or in the microwave.
“When we moved into the George Street House, I knew I wanted it to serve as a central beacon for food insecure students, but also help the students we serve in a number of ways,” said Newby, assistant director of veteran and military services. “It puts food in front of students who need it, and it exposes student veterans – who can sometimes keep to themselves – to many more students than they would otherwise meet.”
When the student volunteers who operate Grove Grocery heard about the opportunity to add a second location, they were excited.
“This is one of those things we weren’t planning on; it just happened, and it’s a huge blessing for us,” said Dan Parks, director of marketing for Grove Grocery.
The satellite location, which is between the J.D. Williams Library and Martindale Hall, will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, and Grove Grocery volunteers will be on site for any students or employees who need assistance.
Parks, a psychology and business major from Nashville, said the new space is in a convenient location on campus and offers a great secondary spot to supplement the primary location in Kinard Hall.
“For anyone living on campus, this will be a great and convenient way to change their diet a little bit and maybe eat a little healthier,” he said.
The kitchen has been funded in part through grants from Kroger and Home Depot.
Anyone who wants to volunteer to staff one of the Grove Grocery locations or to donate can visit https://grovegrocery.olemiss.edu/.
By JB Clark