Meridian Star

November 22, 2012

Ole Miss starts food bank for needy students

The Associated Press
Associated Press

OXFORD —

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Students at the University of Mississippi have set up a food bank to help classmates who have trouble affording proper meals.

The Oxford Eagle (http://oxfordeagle.ms.newsmemory.com) reports that those needing food can get it by presenting a student identification card. Recipients' names are kept confidential.

"We want anyone and everyone to feel comfortable coming to the Food Bank," said Jessica Brouckaert, student director of the Food Bank Committee.

The organization opened this month in Room 213 of Kinard Hall on campus, and five students made withdrawals the first week. The food bank has distributed canned fruit, soup and vegetables; instant oatmeal; granola bars and macaroni and cheese, Brouckaert said. It has also given away laundry detergent and toiletries.

"Many students do not know that there are hungry people with them in class," Brouckaert said in a university news release. "I think the Food Bank will raise awareness about poverty and hunger on our campus and will bring students together to help solve this problem."

Students have often gone to the student affairs offices in need of food, she said.

On Nov. 13 and 14, the University of Mississippi Library waived overdue book fines for people who donated to the food bank. Ole Miss Dining Services also provided the food bank with shelving and a computer system and scanner. Sigma Nu fraternity collected 3,000 cans of food and gave $2,500.

A few students went to University of Arkansas to learn about its food bank program, and the Ole Miss program is modeled after that one.