University of Louisiana system tackles student hunger

The Louisiana University system has pledged to be hunger free to allow them access to grants available through the state to help.
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 9:38 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The Louisiana University system has pledged to be hunger free to allow them access to grants available through the state to help. The act was recently signed by the Governor to help student hunger. Though most of the system’s universities, like ULM, Grambling, and Louisiana Tech currently have programs in place, including food pantries.

The Louisiana Tech Executive Director of Communications, Tonya Oaks Smith, said they have had the pantry prior to the COVID pandemic.

”We do know that during COVID Especially we became aware of the challenges for our students in particular international students,” Oaks Smith explained. “We opened what we know as the good nutrition mission food pantry on Louisiana Tech’s campus.”

ULM and Grambling also have food pantries for students available on campus. They have also been working on other ways to help ease the process since the issue of student hunger was identified.

“To place the order form online a person who made the order would come and pick it up just like you would you would have made a grocery order,” Oaks Smith said.

Meghan Olinger, Director of the ULM Office of Student Advocacy and Accountability says the process is as easy as just showing your ID.

“Show your campus-wide ID you go and take what you need and you can come back every single day. There’s no limit to how many times you can visit the food pantry,” Olinger said.

The Student Government Association at ULM has been working on a program to allow unused meal swipes to be put into a pot. The program is called “Swipe Away Hunger”. They also want the community to know that they are committed to the students and their well-being.

”We have the heart to make sure that the students are successful and you can’t be successful if your hungry and then we know that about K through 12 students but it applies to college students as well,” Oaks Smith said.

Taylor Costa with the Northeast Louisiana Food Bank said in a text, that they have had partnerships with ULM and Grambling to help with the supply of their pantries. He is not sure how this change will impact their inventory.

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