By Justin Sweitzer
As college students, we are not strangers to how difficult it can be to stay afloat financially with all that we have to balance. We pay for tuition, housing, utility bills and other expenses all while balancing classes and jobs at the same time. Lost in all of that can be the time and resources to eat.
If you find yourself struggling to afford food in the midst of your college career at KU, know that there are multiple opportunities to get food thanks to local food pantries.
According to Leah Cassellia, director of student involvement at KU, students in need can get free food every week at the Lutheran Center, which is located on Main Street just up the street from the Admissions house.
Every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., fresh food including fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese and non-perishable food items are available free of charge. The Lutheran Center also provides hot meals for students in need at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays.
The Lutheran Center is considerate of the busy schedules that we often find ourselves in. They do not require any advanced arrangements, allowing students to walk right in during the scheduled hours to pick up some food. If you are not available, the center can help arrange a friend to pick up your food for you.
The center serves as a satellite location for Friend Inc. Food Pantry, and is run by Trinity Lutheran Church. Volunteer help and donations are always accepted, with the pantry looking for food, insulated bags, hosts and physical labor, according to an email sent out by Cassellia.
The pantry has served numerous KU students, with the number increasing as awareness rises.
“Since September, they have served over 150 different KU students. Their weekly visits so far this semester range from 35-40 students, with the number increasing by a few students each week,” an email from Cassellia said. “The students who are typically served are those without meal plans — primarily students living in Golden Bear (no meal plan requirement) and commuter students.”
Another option for KU students in need is to visit the Bear Essentials pantry on campus at the Office of Student Involvement in McFarland Student Union 153 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
While seeking help when in need can often feel intimidating, these resources on campus exist to help aid students because the university community understands the financial crunch that students can often find themselves in. If you find yourself unable to purchase the food you need, utilize these resources to make the most of your college experience here at KU.