MURFREESBORO — The MTSU Student Food Pantry’s holiday drive to restock the shelves will get a boost this year from a Conference USA competition.
The Conference USA Food Drive Challenge will pit MTSU against the other schools in the athletic league to determine which one can collect the most food for the needy from Friday, Nov. 8, to Sunday, Nov. 10.
Toward that end, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will set up tables at five athletic contests where donors may drop off their donations.
- MTSU vs. Florida International, volleyball, Alumni Memorial Gym, 5:30 p.m., Nov. 8;
- MTSU vs. Tennessee, women’s basketball, Murphy Center, 7 p.m., Nov. 8;
- MTSU vs. Florida International, football, Johnny “Red” Floyd Stadium, 3 p.m., Nov. 9;
- MTSU vs. Florida Atlantic, volleyball, Alumni Memorial Gym, noon, Nov. 10; and
- MTSU vs. Southern University, men’s basketball, Murphy Center, 4 p.m., Nov. 10.
“Proceeds from the entire collection will be totaled as one collection for MTSU,” said Todd Wyant, director of the MTSU Student-Athlete Enhancement Center. “The food is then weighed and results shared with Conference USA.”
Wyant says collectors also will accept monetary donations that will enable the food pantry to purchase needed food supplies.
Donors who are unable to attend a contest may drop off their donations from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Student-Athlete Enhancement Center near the ticket office at the south end of Floyd Stadium.
Contributions also are accepted at the MTSU Food Pantry in the McFarland Building from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“We’ve seen the impact the food pantry has made over the last year,” said Becca Seul, an academic adviser who oversees the service. “We know the need is there. We know it works. We have a lot of students saying it’s the reason they can go to class.”
Seul, who documents homeless students and students from foster homes, says there have been 370 visits to the pantry since October 2012. At last count, only 3,300 pounds of food were on the shelves.
She says the pantry needs foods that don’t require a can opener or stove-top preparation, such as fruit cups, bottled and boxed juices, PopTarts and microwaveable items with pop-top lids.
For a limited time, food vouchers for the dining facility at McCallie Hall also are available through the food pantry.