HUNTSVILLE, Ala — Alabama A&M handed out boxes of food Friday during their fall food pantry. Organizers say they’re trying to keep up with the need. Food insecurity has been growing and sometimes students are hit the hardest. Our Sydney Stallworth was there, she tells us more.
Alabama A&M University is hosting a campus wide food pantry. Organizers say they're addressing a need that has always existed but has become magnified in recent months.
We spoke with Dr. Andrea Morris, Health and Nutrition Specialist with Alabama Extension. She says, “The need for nutritious food and access to food was here long before COVID. COVID kind of lifted the veil and showed the need a lot greater."
So, AAMU is helping fill the gaps. Morris adds, “The Alabama A&M Basic Needs Coalition along with Alabama Extension have received a donation from First Missionary Baptist Church of 250 boxes. And we’re making them available to faculty, staff and students today.”
People are able to walk or drive up and don’t even have to leave their cars to get the food they need.
The boxes are filled with staple food items. Whitney Butler, AAMU Marketing and Membership Coordinator, tells our reporter, “We have milk, we have yogurt, we have meat, we have eggs, we have bread-- you know, the basic necessities that you need and that can stretch for a long period of time.
Organizers say students could really be struggling during this time as food insecurity rises. Butler adds, “During the pandemic we’ve seen students who don’t have the means. I mean, as a college student, a lot of times you don’t have a job or you don’t have a car. I think it’s important for us as a university to support our students and let them know we’re here not just for educational purposes.”
They hope the work will continue with the help of other community groups.
Dr. Andrea Morris says, “The Alabama Basic Needs Coalition and Alabama Extension, we partner with the Legacy Center to do a larger food distribution. We participated for 14 weeks over the summer and now we do a once a month food distribution with the Legacy Center at Union Chapel. So, our efforts still continue.”
To get more information on how to contribute to potential food drives in the future, contact Dr. Andrea Morris. She says the Basic Needs Coalition can always use community support. Dr. Morris can be reached at (256) 372-8082.