The Student Services department at Arkansas State is backing an initiative that’s asking fellow students to donate unused flex dollars to the A-State Food Pantry. Flex dollars at Arkansas State are funds loaded onto student ID cards that can be used at any dining location or participating store on campus.
As is the case at a growing number of institutions across the country, the campus food pantry at Arkansas State has become a vital campus service. As reported by local CBS affiliate KSLA, the university’s food pantry is now being used on a weekly basis by a number of students, and has now extended its operations to include the summer months to accommodate demand.
“Volunteer A-State has asked students to use their remaining flex dollars and flex it forward to our A-State Food Pantry to try and help stock it for the summer months,” said Katey Provence, coordinator for Student Services at A-State, in a KSLA interview.
Student use of the pantry is now commonplace, prompting the call for donated flex dollars to help stock shelves. An average week at the food pantry can serve anywhere from 15 to 20 households that have either a student, faculty or staff member in them, Provence said. And while those numbers drop a bit during the summer months, the pantry still sees visitors every week.
Arkansas State’s food pantry serves anyone with an A-State ID card, regardless of financial need. The donation of leftover flex funds will be used, in part, to stock the pantry during the summer months when fewer students are on campus to donate.
Flex dollars at Arkansas State don’t roll over from spring to fall semesters, so proponents of the donation initiative are encouraging students to do something productive with funds that would otherwise disappear. Instead, Student Services is encouraging students to use their remaining flex dollars to visit campus stores and purchase items that will help stock the pantry shelves.
“Don’t let those flex dollars go to waste,” Provence said. “Just go by the campus store and grab a couple of things of peanut butter or some laundry detergent and donate those.”