You may hear jokes from time to time about the “college diet” or references to students sustaining on ramen. But according to Karen Schlatter from the University of Montana, research has shown 12-15% of college students are homeless, and here in Missoula hundreds of our own University of Montana students use the local Missoula Food Bank. Yet they face additional challenges as well, including dorms being closed and busses not running during school breaks.

Over the past few years, a group of UM students, faculty, and staff from both Missoula College and the main campus saw a need, and formed a committee on Food and Housing Insecurity. With support from community partners such as the Missoula Food Bank, Montana Food Bank Network, The Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce, Blackfoot, and Missoula Federal Credit Union, the UM Food Pantry will hold a grand opening next week. Join us on Tuesday, February 12th from 2-4 pm at the West Atrium desk on the 1st floor of the University Center (UC) for a Chamber Ranger Ribbon Cutting, treats, speeches towards the beginning from Mayor Engen and others, and a silent auction to support the UM Food Pantry.

The main food pantry is located at the West Atrium desk, open Tuesdays 9am-2pm, and Fridays 10am-5pm, with other satellite locations in Missoula College, TRIO, VETS, and AISS. The Food Pantry accepts non-perishable donations. In addition to food items, toiletries, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products and household cleaning supplies are much needed. Monetary donations are much needed as well, and can be given on the website or by check. Such donations help fund the operation as well as purchase food and products that are not being collected. Please contact the UM Food Pantry if you or your business would like to get involved umpantry@umontana.edu, (406) 243-5125. 

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