Food pantry fills shelves

Food pantry fills shelves

Kelsii Kyto

Following the wake of the government shutdown, federal workers are still experiencing the effects of having their paychecks on hold; and this paired with winter weather keeps the NMU’s food pantry busy in assisting students.

“We’ve had quite the influx in shoppers,” NMU Food Pantry Volunteer Coordinator Jessica Podlesak said.

The pantry was trying to stay on the ball making sure the shelves were stocked and that shoppers were giving feedback about what needs restocking, Podlesak said.

“Typically we try to reach the students, faculty and staff who do not live in the dorms and do not have meal plans, but with the shutdown, we really had no idea who is being affected and how,” Podlesak said. “So we did see some students who do reside in the residence halls come in for things other than food, which was different but good, given the circumstances.”

Places like food pantries are so crucial because people have no idea what people are being affected and how. For example, when there is a government shutdown, people show up to work without getting paid a penny, Podlesak said. It can be hard for people to shop for a family without an income, she added.

“Families are affected. Students are affected. Pantries are there to provide basic products to live to those hard-working people and their families,” Podlesak said.

Podlesak noted that the pantry also has lists of outside resources such as other food pantries and shelters in the area for people to utilize if they need help but are unsure where to go.

“No one should go without basic needs such as food, soap and feminine hygiene products just because the government is shut down,” Podlesak said.

The pantry could use winter gear and household items, Podlesak added.

All NMU students, faculty and staff are welcome to the NMU Food Pantry, located in 101 Gries Hall. The pantry is open from 5 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday.