MSU programs provides help for students struggling with food insecurity

Food insecurity is a growing issue among students. It doesn't matter whether you're a freshman, sophomore, or even a senior it can happen to anyone.

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – There are hundreds of thousands of college students on campuses around the U.S.

While all of them are juggling daily deadlines, others are struggling with daily needs.

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Food insecurity is a growing issue among students. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a freshman, sophomore, or even a senior it can happen to anyone.

That’s why MSU has put together three different programs to serve students who are facing food insecurity.

These are regular college students, but if you look closer some of them are facing something greater — food insecurity.

“It’s hard to be successful in class if you’re hungry,” said Vice President of Multicultural Affairs Dr. Regina Hyatt.

Hyatt said a new program is helping them clear that obstacle.

“Maroon Meals is a notification program that students can access by downloading the Mississippi State App and they can turn on through the app the Maroon Meals notifications. Whenever we have an event on campus the staff member or faculty member who’s coordinating that event can literally send out a notification at the conclusion of their event to say there’s food available,” said Hyatt.

So far, 350 students have signed up.

“Students are alerted what kind of food is available, where it’s available, and for how long it’s available. We don’t want students making the choice if they can eat that day, or have to pay their light bill, or tuition bill, or their rent. We want to make sure students are able to have what they need in order to be successful,” said Hyatt.

For some students, finding that next meal is a constant struggle.

Montelleo Hobley said the Block by Block Program provides a way for their classmates to help them.

“It’s an opportunity for students on campus who have meal plans to donate up to three meals to this program. Students who don’t have meal plans who are facing food security issues or concerns can apply to get up to fifteen meals. That equates to maybe three meals a day or two. Some students space it out and do one a day it depends on what they need,” said Hobley.

Since August, 300 students have donated meals.

“This semester we’ve already given out 1,600 meals which has impacted more than 110 students,” said Hobley.

During the spring semester, students can utilize Bully’s Closet and Pantry.

“We have the pantry section which will have non-perishable items where students can come once a week to get different items that they need,” said Hobley.

Bully’s Closet and Pantry will open in January 2020.

For more information about Maroon Meals and Block by Block Program click here.

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