In light of the coronavirus pandemic, one VSU organization has stepped up to the plate to aid students and the community of Valdosta.
Operating as a student-run free store, the Drop-N-Shop supplies non-perishable foods and even donates clothes to those in need. Thermometers that were provided by the Health Center were also being handed out.
Normally, the shop is located on the first floor of the student union however, for the time being, students who need supplies will need to sign up through Blazerlink, unto which the shop gives a location of where supplies will be distributed. Generally, these locations are on campus or within the vicinity.
In terms of how the Drop-N-Shop is supplied, Nikki Turley, chief coordinator of the shop, said that they have two food box distribution programs.
“Our first partnership includes local churches and centers alike who are happy to donate food and sometimes even clothing. The other organization we partner with is Second Harvest, which is one of the largest foodbanks in Southeast Georgia,” she said.
According to Turley, Second Harvest recently provided the shop with 35 boxes, with each box containing an assortment of rice, beans, pork, canned fruit, canned vegetables, and other types of canned food. Each student gets one box, which is reportedly a two weeks supply of food.
Tenley Kiger, a graduate assistant advisor for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, volunteered for the food bank and said that the distribution process was stress-free.
“When I volunteered, we set up outside of Centennial Hall. We had boxes put together from Second Harvest and a list of names of students coming to pick up. As they arrived, one of us would bring the student the box and the other would check their name off the list,” she said. ” It was a very smooth and efficient process. We were able to easily maintain social distancing while helping the students, which was awesome.”
Turley also added that student demand has remained steady, even during the pandemic.
“This might come as a surprise, but demand has really remained the same, back from when everything was normal to our situation now,” she said. “Maintaining inventory has been a little challenging, but luckily we have a couple of solid partners who have been a great help.”
The Drop-N-Shop plans on maintaining their normal routine-distributing food about every two weeks-and intends to stay on that same course for the summer.
Written by Grant Palmer, Staff Writer. Photos Courtesy of Drop-N-Shop.
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