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More grad students use food bank

The State News Printed Monday January 26th, 2004.

One by one, young men and women made their way out of Olin Health Center on Wednesday evening carrying bags full of cereal, canned food and soap.

The groceries, from the MSU Student Food Bank located in Olin, provide struggling MSU students with the necessities they sometimes can't afford.

While many undergraduates go to the food bank for distribution night, there is an increasing number of graduate students, many who support families, who utilize the center, officials say.

"It's staggering, the amount of food that goes out," Dennis Martell, food bank adviser and former Council of Graduate Students president, said. "Not all college students have their needs met for them. Some don't have enough for their daily requirements of food. That's why this exists."

The idea for the food bank was conceived when faculty members and students identified a need for a center in 1992, Martell said. COGS helped to back the venture and still continues to support it because of the large demand from graduate students.

Each year, COGS budgets about $4,000 to the food bank's $25,000 yearly budget, said Tom Adams, a COGS Food Bank Committee member. COGS organizes volunteers to help on distribution dates and fundraising events. COGS representatives also are organizing a food drive in February and a 5K run and walk in May.

Adams, who volunteers occasionally, said he was surprised to find out a food bank on campus even existed.

"I would be under the assumption that someone who would be able to assume tuition would be able to afford food," Adams said. "I was surprised there was that much need, but once you get a feel for the diversity of students, it isn't so surprising."

Any student with need is welcome to come, said Billy Molasso, director of the food bank. Everyone must provide a student ID and proof of enrollment for the current semester. Distributions occur twice a month from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

"A mother of two called me and was out of financial aid, money and food," Molasso said. "If you could just see that look of relief that comes from not having to worry about how to get food � it speaks well for the impact we're having."

For more information on the MSU Student Food Bank, call (517) 432-5136.

All content ©2004 The State News

More MSU Student Food Bank Articles:

Students hungry to help ‘U’ meet needs with Food Bank (Oct 18, 2000)

Peanut Barrel to host fund-raiser (Nov 26, 2001)

Student Food Bank hopes ‘U’ won’t have to go without a meal (Dec 01, 2000)

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