Alabama is the second hungriest state in the nation with more than 25 percent of its residents suffering from lack of food security, but a new campus food pantry aims to change this.
"Food insecurity is on the rise and impacts all ages," said Katherine Hettinger, Coordinator of Student Advocacy and Case Management. "Alabama is the sixth poorest state with 19 percent of its residents living below the poverty line."
Hettinger defines food insecurity as a person who does not know from where their next meal will come.
The Campus Food Pantry will provide students with non-perishable food items.
"The Campus Food Pantry will be a confidential environment for students in need to receive assistance," Hettinger said.
The Campus Food Pantry is an initiative run by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs that started in April.
The goal of The Campus Food Pantry is to take care of the Auburn family.
"The Food Bank of East Alabama reports that 15,220 people in Lee County, about 10 percent of the population, are defined as food insecure," Hettinger said. "We know that Auburn University students are accessing the Food Bank of East Alabama and other food pantries in the area. We believe it is important that the Auburn Family take care of its family members, and that is why we wanted to establish a food pantry on campus."
The Campus Food Pantry hopes to help the surprising number of students struggling to get food, said King.
"Our goal is to help every student who walks through the Campus Food Pantry door," King said.
King said the new food pantry can't succeed without student contributions as well.
"The Campus Food Pantry combines student advocacy with community service by allowing Auburn students to assist one another," King said.