STARKVILLE, Miss.--A new program at Mississippi State is connecting university students in need to available food resources in the Starkville area.
The university's Food Security Network is an alliance of several food pantries and community churches created to assist any local resident in need, according to graduate student Stedmond Ware of Greenwood, AmeriCorps VISTA member and volunteer coordinator for MSU's Maroon Volunteer Center.
Ware, the program's creator, said the network's goal "is to match individual students with the agency that can best accommodate them based on a variety of factors including severity of need, location and dates of food distribution."
Currently, seven local churches operate food pantries; Pinelake Church, Starkville Church of God, Peter's Rock Temple COGIC, St. Joseph's Catholic Church, and Sand Creek Chapel, Beth-El and Josey Creek Missionary Baptist churches.
Sponsored by the Maroon Volunteer Center and Office of Student Leadership and Community Engagement, the program works both to increase general awareness of the network among potential clients and increase the number of volunteers who can work at the pantries.
"Another positive outcome of this project is that the bond between the university and the community is strengthened," Ware said.
MSU students who need food assistance may anonymously contact the network at 662-325-1820 or MSUFoodSecurityNetwork@msstate.edu, or visit the Maroon Volunteer Center at 306 South Hall to request an application.