University's Volunteer Action Center to Open a Food Pantry in February

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –Typical college students are often perceived as young people who have everything laid out in front of them, with many opportunities of which to take advantage. Most people never consider that for some college students a real issue is hunger. Not hunger for knowledge, but hunger for food.

“Many people assume that students pursuing higher education have the resources to meet all of their needs and that they are ‘privileged’,” said Angela Oxford, assistant director of the center for leadership and community engagement. “But after many conversations with students and staff, we’ve learned of this silent group that includes students living on campus with the minimum meal plan, international students who have limited resources, single parents, and first generation students with limited financial resources available from their families.”

The Volunteer Action Center, a group that organizes volunteer activities for students, faculty and staff, is joining forces with the University of Arkansas to ensure that none of its students or staff members go hungry by establishing the first campus food pantry. The grand opening of the Full Circle Campus Food Pantry will be Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011, and it is set to open for full business on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011.

The pantry is located in Bud Walton Hall (previously known as Darby Hall) on Stadium Drive, directly across from Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. It will be open two days each week, on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. First-time applicants will be able to apply online or in person. Dependents and spouses of students and staff may also benefit from the services offered.

This past week the Division of Student Affairs and Chartwell’s Campus Dining donated $30,000 to the group to cover the cost of renovations needed to ready the space in Walton Hall to open the food pantry. The Division of Student Affairs is holding a food drive to benefit the campus food pantry during the group’s holiday celebration on Friday, Dec. 10.

The Full Circle Campus Food Pantry is a student-run program that was established by the Volunteer Action Center as an emergency assistance program that distributes food and toiletries to any member of the University of Arkansas community. The Full Circle Campus Food Pantry will strive to nourish bodies, empower minds and build a community of compassion. Students and organizations interested in volunteering can sign up at volunteer.uark.edu. For more information about donating to the pantry, please send an email to afoxford@uark.edu

The Volunteer Action Center board is a student-run initiative that was created in 2005 in order to organize student volunteer efforts and programs on campus and be the contact point for nonprofit organizations within northwest Arkansas. The volunteer board seeks to engage and inspire students through volunteer experiences for the enhancement of their overall educational learning while providing awareness, support and access to service opportunities.

Contacts

Scott Flanagin, director of communications
Division of Student Affairs
479-575-6785, sflanagi@uark.edu

Steve Voorhies, manager of media relations
University Relations
479-575-3583, voorhies@uark.edu

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