Donation helps Winston-Salem State University fight food insecurity

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Food insecurity impacts the entire community, including colleges and universities. At Winston-Salem State University, the shelves inside of the Helping Hands food pantry are bare.

"We conducted a survey of our students and 52 percent of the students acknowledged that there were times they needed assistance as it related to food," said Natasha Jeter, assistant dean for Health, Wellness and Prevention Services

This week, Food Lion donated over 2,800 pounds of food. Items like cereal, granola bars, soup, spaghetti and of course peanut butter and jelly are popular staples for college students. About a dozen students volunteered to help restock the shelves. Erin Thompson said the donation is coming just in time.

"Our influx normally comes during exam times, mid-terms and end of the semester. Without the donations, not sure where students would go. I am just really thankful," Thompson said.

Kambre Stephens is the vice president of the Student Government Association. He explained why he is volunteering at Helping Hands food pantry.

"I believe in serving the Forsyth community so much and the community of Winston-Salem State University," he said.

For Ms. Winston-Salem State University Christina Harris, making folks aware of food insecurity on college campuses is a part of her platform.

"It feels so rewarding that we are helping someone. Someone will come in here that will need this food and now they will have the opportunity to do so," Harris said.

WSSU students can visit the food pantry twice a month. After the first visit, students can give back by volunteering at the pantry.

"They can make flyers. So many students are very much impacted," Jeter said. "By having this resource, they want to come back and give back and volunteer."

Since 2016, the Helping Hands food pantry has assisted over 300 students.

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