HUNTINGTON — Marshall University's food pantry will be open Wednesdays this summer to assist students, faculty and community members in need.
The pantry's summer hours on Wednesdays are from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The pantry, located at 1802 6th Ave., has a variety of foods available for visitors to take home, free of charge.
Sydney Mangialetti, senior dietetics major, is the manager of MU's Food Pantry, which is sponsored by the university's Department of Dietetics. She said she thinks it's important to have summer hours because students are still on campus during those months and they may be in need.
"We still have kids that live in the dorms, and they all have a job or they have summer classes," Mangialetti said. "And so I'm not sure how it completely works with the meal system at Marshall, but I just know from students that come in that it's not very available; they don't have the money to afford it. So, it's just important that during summer and during vacation time that we have it open so they can still get food."
Mangialetti said all foods are welcome to be donated, but they prefer to have certain foods high in nutrients.
"We try to keep a focus of foods that are high in nutrients, so whole grain products, healthy fats, fruit and vegetables," Mangialetti said. "We also try to get as much protein as possible. So peanut butter, canned meat, beans, etc."
People may visit the food pantry once a week, but Mangialetti said that is the only limitation for receiving assistance.
"A guideline that we have is that they can come once a week, I don't need to see ID or any kind of paperwork," she said. "They can just come in, sign up and depending on how many people in the household they have, depends on how much of each food group that they get. It's kind of like a supermarket where they still get to choose the items that they want from each food group, but there is a limit depending on how many people are in the household."
The MU Food Pantry relies on donations, and those interested in donating may drop off donations during operation hours or contact Mangialetti by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We're just trying to grow it as much as possible so we can serve as many people as possible," Mangialetti said. "Our focus is on college students, but we are open to the community, and we have a lot of people that are from the community that participate. It's free food for anybody. If you need it or if you can utilize it, then do it."
The MU Food Pantry is located at 1802 6th Ave.