By Howard Packowitz
NORMAL – Local college students, who might be going hungry, will soon be able to go to a food pantry to get their groceries.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled Friday evening for the School Street Food Pantry at the First United Methodist Church at 211 N. School St. in Normal.
The food pantry will be open every Friday, starting September 21, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Noah Tang is one of three Illinois State University students who helped make the food pantry a reality. He said Midwest and Eastern Illinois Food Banks are providing the food. Some people are donating fresh produce, grown from their gardens.
Tang said students from ISU, Illinois Wesleyan University, Lincoln, and Heartland Community Colleges need only their school identification card to use the food pantry.
“The room is pretty large, and it has shelving donated largely by Illinois State University,” said Tang.
“On every shelf, it’s just stacks and stacks of healthy foods that students would eat. It’s absolutely awe-inspiring.”
Tang said several polls and studies of local college students match federal data showing many students are ‘food insecure,’ meaning they can’t afford or don’t have access to healthy food on a regular basis.
“I also hear through the grapevine from my friends in other classes that they overhear people talking they will use this food pantry,” Tang also said.
More information can be found at www.schoolstreetfoodpantry.org.
Howard Packowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org