Since opening in August 2016, the Saluki Food Pantry has served more than 2,500 SIU students and their families. That kind of community service requires support and a lot of hard work.
Much of the work at the food pantry is done by graduate assistant Shannon Denman, said Student Center Associate Director Kent Epplin.
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. For the upcoming third SIU Day of Giving on Wednesday, March 6, the hope is that even more donations will be raised.
“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.
For the 2018 fall semester, students came to the pantry needing a wide variety of assistance. Four students asked for help with baby clothes and furniture while one student needed help paying her dog bills and buying dog food. 15 students were referred to outside community resources, such as additional food pantries, SNAP/WIC benefits, counseling, and clothing.
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 give to the food pantry on SIU Day of Giving, visit siuday.siu.edu and click Student Affairs.