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GVSU: Campus Wide Food Drive, Need Increases

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Officials say more and more students are turning up at college food pantries due to financial stress.  Grand Valley State University’s student food pantry has seen quite an increase over the last year.  A campus-wide food drive is currently underway to help stock the pantry. 

"We have the corn, corn section over here… we try to separate them as much as we can and try to make it look like a grocery store…”

Sharalle Arnold is the Associate Director of the GVSU Women’s Center, but she also heads up the newly located and renovated student food pantry, called ReStore.  She’s showing me their new location.

A flyer pushing the campus wide food drive touts “Restoring Academic Success.”

What’s that got to do with food? 

Quite a bit, says Arnold.

Arnold says the numbers of students using the food pantry continue to grow.  Numbers are tracked through visits and this year, she says more 250 new visits occurred. 

She says the numbers are climbing by 50-60 student visits each year.  The reason?  For a growing number, its hard to make ends meet.

“We are looking at a wide variety of students that are in financial distress.”

Arnold says students struggle with balancing grades, internships and the financial pressures of tuition and rent and sometimes childcare.

“Sometimes we find students prioritizing their tuition or rent over their food intake.”

The campus wide food drive runs until Friday.

Arnold notes they now can accept refrigerated foods along with the basics of canned and packaged items. 

Personal items are also needed. Financial donations are accepted as well.

Jennifer is an award winning broadcast news journalist with more than two decades of professional television news experience including the nation's fifth largest news market. She's worked as both news reporter and news anchor for television and radio in markets from Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo all the way to San Francisco, California.
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