Did you know there is a food pantry on campus just for students? Studies have shown that students are struggling to afford food due to the rising costs of on-campus expenses. “There are so many students working one or two jobs to support themselves while going to school,” said Re’Nita Avery, Director of the Murray State University Curris Center and Student Life. Murray State University partnered with Need Line of Murray-Calloway County in 2014 to create the Racers Helping Racers food pantry for students. The food pantry is now supported by Need Line of Murray-Calloway County and the Murray State University Parking Office Pay It Forward program.
The Pay It Forward Program, coordinated by the Murray State University Parking Office, provides donations of non-perishable food items that are exchanged for paying fines for parking citations. One citation per semester can be exchanged for a food donation. Food items include everything from canned vegetables to boxes of cereal and granola bars. According to the guidelines, newly purchased items must be brought to the Murray State Parking Office within 30 days of receiving the citation. The Parking Office website has a complete list of eligible citations as well as appropriate food items. “The Pay It Forward program makes a significant impact by providing a much-needed supply of food. It allows the food pantry to serve more students that are in need. We would like to thank the Parking Office for their support. We would also like to thank the Need Line of Murray-Calloway County, Murray State faculty, staff, and students for their continued support of the Racers Helping Racers food pantry,” said Avery.
In response to the pandemic, the Racers Helping Racers team developed an online food request program to help students in need. Through the Curbside service, students can place an order online for custom orders each week. Once their order is ready, the student is notified by email when the order can be picked up. A contactless delivery is made in front of the Curris Center when the student arrives. Orders can be placed through a confidential form, on a weekly basis, at https://www.murraystate.edu/campus/CurrisCenter/racershelpingracers.aspx.
Students may visit the Racers Helping Racers food pantry in Blackburn room 244. It is open to all students with a Murray State ID. Each student must complete an application, which is confidential. No questions are asked. The fall and spring operating hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Summer and winter break hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Students can come to the pantry and get food once a week. Racers Helping Racers Curbside online program is operational year round. To reach the food pantry during operating hours, students may call (270) 809-4499. Students may call (270) 809-6984 if they need food after hours or go online to place an order.