By Jeff Wilson
Since opening in August 2016, the Saluki Food Pantry has served more than 2,400 SIU students and their families. That kind of community service requires support and a lot of hard work.
Recently, the food pantry assisted students after a fire at Evergreen Terrace by supplying food and toiletries to affected individuals.
Much of the work at the food pantry is done by graduate assistant Shannon Denman, said Student Center Associate Director Kent Epplin.
“Without Shannon, we would not be able to operate because there is no dedicated staff member for the location,” Epplin said. “As a result of her ongoing efforts to schedule food drives, we have been successful at supplying our students with the necessary food items.”
During the first two SIU Days of Giving, the Saluki Food Pantry has received $1,800 in donations. Most of those funds are used to pay overhead costs and fund the graduate assistant position.
“Initially, the chancellor funded the pantry, but for the current fiscal year, we are operating off of the SIU Foundation funding,” Epplin said. “The pantry runs on a very simple budget.”
The food pantry works with students both on and off campus, and networks with Saluki Cares and other campus organizations to ensure students are aware of the available resources.
The Saluki Food Pantry is located on the Lower Level of the Student Center and is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Mondays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays. Any student with a valid student ID can access the pantry’s resources. To learn more, visit www.studentcenter.siu.edu/services/saluki-food-pantry.php.