Faculty Senate stocks pantry for students in need

FSU Food Pantry

Professors feed students’ intellects, but sometimes they also must satisfy real hunger.

Members of the Florida State University Faculty Senate brought nonperishable food items to stock the Dean of Students’ Food Pantry during the Senate’s February meeting.

“It was about 35 bags of food,” said Tyler Shannon, a case manager with the Dean of Students Office who collected the food on behalf of the Food Pantry.

The range of items included staples such as pasta, pasta sauces, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, granola snack bars, oatmeal and canned chili and soup. The donations came in answer to a request made by Vice President for Student Affairs Mary Coburn during the Faculty Senate’s January meeting.

“I’m so appreciative that our faculty senators participated in this food drive in such a big way, showing they care for the students at this university who sometimes need some extra help to make it through,” Coburn said. “Their actions set an excellent example.”

Members of the faculty care deeply about the university’s students and want them to be successful in and out of the classroom, according to Faculty Senate President Susan Fiorito, who also serves as a university trustee, the Jim Moran Professor and founding director of Florida State’s newly established Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship.

food pantry
Thao Le, left, and Margarette Swift, student employees in the Office of Faculty Development and Advancement, and Tyler Shannon, a case manager with the Dean of Students, collected food items donated by members of the Faculty Senate Feb. 17.

“We are appreciative of Dr. Coburn for telling us about this important and valuable service,” she said. “While some of us were unaware of the opportunity to help students obtain healthy food, we are more than willing to help out.”

The Faculty Senate isn’t alone in its concern for the myriad needs of students. Nearly 20 groups regularly hold food drives for the pantry, including registered student organizations, sororities and fraternities, the College of Arts and Sciences and University Health Services.

The Food Pantry, established in 2009, provides year-round food assistance to Florida State students. In 2015, it served 456 students, with many coming back more than once.

“Students come to the pantry throughout the year, but there is always a spike in need in January, May and August before students receive their financial aid money,” Shannon said. “The need tapers off moving into the middle and ends of each semester as students work out their budgets to make it through.”

The pantry is located in the offices of the Dean of Students on the fourth floor of University Center Building A.