There is an idea that only certain members of the community help those who are less fortunate, but what if those certain people are members of the student body?
Just like members in the community, students on campus help with the Food Pantry located in the basement of Grace United Methodist Church.
Rene Duell, class of 2010, said she believes it’s important to have a food pantry in the community. “The ability to give food to those who need it most is very important,” she said. “People in the community are being supported by one another and unused food is given away, not thrown away.”
Duell has helped at the pantry since her freshman year through Freshman Class Council and FCA. “We went door-to-door and around town to collect food for the pantry as part of a volunteer effort,” she said. “It was fun to do and we had a great response from the community.”
Kelli Florio, athletic training junior, said she chose to volunteer at the food pantry because it became a requirement for the women’s soccer team to do community service.
“I tried to help at the food pantry because of the amount of food they get there can sometimes be hard to distribute if there aren’t a lot of people. And it was something I had never done before,” said Florio.
Despite Florio’s attempt to volunteer, the pantry didn’t need help the day Florio went.
“I thought about going back,” she said. “I just never have.”
The Winfield food pantry has more than 17 non-student volunteers, who work at least two hours a day from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., Monday through Friday.
With the help of students, various food drives have been conducted around the community.
“I think it’s important for students to be aware of the pantry because it gives them an opportunity to give back to the community that helps in supporting Southwestern,” said Florio. “The food pantry is something that is close to the campus and the church does a lot for Southwestern.”
Florio said if students where more aware of the pantry they would be more inclined to help.
Duell agrees, she said there are many reasons for students to be aware of the pantry. “They can help others who need food and pass on canned foods that are never used.”
“You can personally see how giving your time and services really helps people out and how much it really means to those you serve,” said Duell.
Alejandra Rojas is a senior majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.