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Food for the Flock board members
Food for the Flock executive board members Audrey McNeal and Luke Hartlaub offer a look inside the student food pantry.

Hunger-Free Campus Grant to Help SU Further Ensure No Student Goes Hungry

SALISBURY, MD---When Salisbury University’s student-led Food for the Flock food pantry was established in 2018, its goal was to ensure no student on campus went hungry.

Four years later, SU is doubling down on that pledge through a recent Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) grant of more than $13,000 to update the pantry’s fixtures, increase the number of non-perishable food donation points on campus and better market the program to the SU community.

“We’re trying to expand Food for the Flock as a brand and make sure people know about it,” said Lydia Lyons, Food for the Flock president.

The funding also will allow for a part-time employee through SU’s ShoreCorps AmeriCorps program to more reliably staff Food for the Flock and expand its hours to include evenings and weekends.

“With the hiring of an AmeriCorps member, we are hoping that we can more faithfully serve the campus community,” said SU Student Government Association President Andrew Wilson.

Lyons and Wilson serve as members of MHEC’s Hunger-Free Task Force, created in 2021 to address food security challenges that, for many statewide, were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lyons said the new hours, along with new collection bins on campus, should go into effect beginning in January. The new position also will serve as a liaison between the pantry and the greater community, soliciting donations from area grocery stores and other merchants.

As part of the program, SU also spearheaded a National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week e-campaign in November to raise awareness of food insecurity issues.

“Whether a student needs to visit the pantry once to help bridge the gap during a short-term issue or depends on the service regularly, Food for the Flock is there for them,” said Dr. Dane Foust, SU vice president of student affairs. “We appreciate MHEC’s generosity in allowing us to further our efforts and look forward to working with the Hunger-Free Task Force even more in the future.”

In addition, Food for the Flock has partnered with the SU Career Closet, which loans business clothes for students participating in job interviews, to make sure students in need are aware of both resources.

Lyons and her board of directors also are exploring a program through which students can donate unused guest passes to SU’s Commons dining hall, which are built into most meal plans, to students in need.

Non-perishable food donations are accepted year-round at the Food for the Flock Office on the ground floor of the Commons, near the SU Bookstore, during pantry hours. Monetary donations may be made online anytime.

For hours and more information, visit the Food for the Flock webpage.

Learn more about opportunities to Make Tomorrow Yours at the SU website.