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Wesley House, University Center Staff Collaborate on Self-Serve Food Pantry in Rankin Atrium

Ferris State UniversityAn outlet of the Student Emergency Food Pantry, which is operated by the Wesley House Registered Student Organization of Ferris State University, has been established on the lower level of the University Center.

Devon Herrell, the director of Wesley House, said Gordon Mallett was supported by fellow parishioners of the Third Avenue United Methodist Church in building and presenting the self-serve pantry, which is located near the Rankin Atrium fireplace.

“Our Wesley House pantry can provide students a two-week supply of nonperishable food and other items,” Herrell said. “This satellite unit in the University Center allows students to grab a granola bar, a bag of chips, with the idea that we help meet their short-term hunger need. The hope is to also have toiletry items available since students who have limited funds can really benefit from having those items on hand.”

Shana Beisiegel, an administrative assistant with the University Center, Mark Schuelke, director of the University Center, said that they have seen a positive response to the self-serve pantry since it was placed on the lower level.

“We know it is being used and that word is spreading among our students regarding what is available,” Beisiegel said. “We are happy to support Wesley House by collaborating with them and housing the pantry.”

Schuelke anticipates increased branding and visibility soon.

“The Wesley House is connected with the regional Feeding America program, so at this time, we are not taking donations for the pantry, or program at the center,” Schuelke said. “There was a ‘soft opening’ for the pantry in October, and later this month, signage will be installed to help students locate and understand the intentions of this program.”

Herrell said Wesley House staff and students are pleased by the campus and community response to the Student Emergency Food Pantry, which is now in its third year of operation.

“We have a student employee, Lauren Thayer, who works on arranging volunteer staff for our pantry hours and organizing food drives to help us replenish the stock offered to our visitors,” Herrell said. “The efficiencies of purchasing through Feeding America are significant, and a number of departments and offices on campus collect food and make donations. Along with the drives held by various RSOs, we are meeting the need.”

PHOTO CAPTION: A self-serve pantry with free food for students of Ferris State University has been placed on the lower level of the University Center. The Wesley House registered student organization is stocking the pantry, with supplies from their Student Emergency Food Pantry.