Food insecurity and funding for professional interview clothing are factors affecting more than 40 percent of all college students nationwide. At VSU, over 20 percent of the student body can relate to one or both of these factors. These statistics, along with others, motivated the VSU Department of Student Leadership & Volunteer Services to involve student volunteers to assist in helping other students on campus who may need assistance.
The Blazer Pantry, one of the department’s signature programs, aims to solve these issues on VSU’s very own campus.
The Blazer Pantry, which was formerly housed in the department of student life, was created in 2010 and is now housed in the department of student leadership and volunteer services and known as the “Drop-N-Shop.” The Drop-N-Shop has helped VSU students overcome food insecurity by serving as a confidential, supplemental food source for students. Starting this year and in partnership with career opportunities, professional attire has been added as a support for students who find themselves in need of professional clothing to nail their next job interview. In addition, laundry detergent, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrushes are requested to assist students hygienically in their everyday lives.
“The Drop-N-Shop has two purposes – first, to minimize hunger among our students by providing free, accessible, and nourishing food; and second, to provide professional attire to students in need,” said Niki Turley, director for the department of student leadership and volunteer services. “The support provided to students, through the Drop-N-Shop, is another great example of how the Blazer Creed is carried out on-campus.”
Located on the first floor of the Student Union, the fall hours of operation for the Drop-N-Shop will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A grand opening will be held Thursday, August 30 at 3:30 p.m.
Students interested in becoming a part of the Drop-N-Shop, needing assistance or wanting to volunteer to earn service hours, should contact the department at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the department suite located on the third floor of the Student Union to speak with Sylandi Brown, student campus service coordinator for the department of student leadership and volunteer services.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with such a rewarding program that not only provides food and professional attire, but also volunteer opportunities for our students,” Brown said. “We encourage students, faculty, and staff to join us in this mission of serving our campus.
Written by Tyler Tucker, Staff Writer. Photo Courtesy of VSU.
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