Food pantry on campus a valuable resource

FAMU senior Robert Tucker at the food pantry on campus.
Photo courtesy: food pantry’s Instagram page

Food insecurity is an ongoing problem in Tallahassee, including for many students at
Florida A&M University.

Prices for food have risen dramatically, leaving many hungry or subject to less
nutritional options. In addition, college is a time when students are financially strained
and in need of assistance.

FAMU has an on-campus solution to alleviate this problem and provide students with a
convenient and free resource.

The food pantry offers a variety of food and essentials. It is constantly replenished with
everything from pasta, fresh produce, meats and water to toilet paper and feminine
hygiene products. Food is received from the Second Harvest of Big Bend and the pantry
participates in a USDA food program.

It also receives food donations from Publix, GreenWise, Aldi’s and Panera.  When
planning larger drive-thru food distributions, the food pantry works with Farm Share to
have more food for the masses.

According to Feeding America, 68,000 people in Leon County are classified as food
insecure. Of those people 16,000 are children.

The FAMU food pantry is a crucial tool in the fight against this persistent problem. It is
available to both community members and students. On most days somewhere
between 30-40 will utilize the pantry. More students are encouraged to use this resource
daily as there are plenty of necessities available to fulfill its purpose to serve and
support the community and students.

FAMU senior Robert Tucker wants to motivate students to use this resource on campus.

“The food pantry is easily accessible and has a little bit of everything. More students
need to take advantage of this helpful resource,” Tucker said.

Upon arrival, students fill out a brief form and before being taken into various rooms to
get whatever they may need or want. The food pantry is located in Student Health
Services in the CASS building and is open to students Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m.
to 3 p.m. It is also open to the community on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tanya Tatum, the director of Student Health Services at FAMU, says the food pantry is a
valuable, if under-utilized, resource for FAMU students.

“Student Health Services is committed to supporting our students and operating the
food pantry is one way we can help.  We are always happy to get the word out to more
students about the food pantry,” she said.

To keep up with what is received follow the food pantry's Instagram @famufoodpantry.