Between paying for books, housing and food, the cost of a college education seemingly grows more expensive each year. In an effort to alleviate these costs, Fairmont State University students struggling to make ends meet can turn to The Nest Student Food Bank to supplement their dining expenses.
College students are overwhelmingly hard-pressed for money, and without a job – or likely the time in a busy academic schedule to have one – students still have to pay tuition, student loans, as well as cover living expenses.
According to local CBS affiliate WDTV, of the 4,600 students enrolled at Fairmont State, 85% need some type of financial aid. In fact, the university has seen a large number of its students turning to the student food bank for assistance. To receive provisions from The Nest, students must have a valid student ID and cannot be enrolled in any sort of university meal plan.
The food bank opened its doors about two years ago in the campus library, but in the short time since, it has already outgrown that location. The food bank has recently move to the university’s Falcon Center, where the student government will now keep track of how much it the service is used, as well as prevent any potential abuse of the pantry.
Fairmont State administrators say that the food bank is just a small service that colleges can provide to help its students. Fairmont isn’t the only one, either, as there seems to be a growing trend in campus-run food banks.
Student workers run The Nest at Fairmont, and are proud to provide this type of service to their fellow students. Many of the students who leverage the Fairmont food bank are non-traditional students, for example, those who work part time in order to attend classes.
“We’ve got a lot of students on this campus that are a little bit older than the rest, and actually have families that they’ve started,” says Mitch Moore, Fairmont State student body president. “We use this food bank sometimes to help out students in that case, we also have some that are the traditional-aged college student.”
To help supplement The Nest, donations are always accepted. The food bank is always in need of canned goods, non-frozen microwavable foods, non-perishable foods and personal hygiene items such as toothpaste and soap. The Nest is open for both donations and pick-ups Mondays and Wednesdays from 5-8 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.