MURFREESBORO — While ghouls and goblins are rousting local residents for treats, volunteers for the MTSU Student Food Pantry will request only treats at upcoming athletic events.
The second annual Conference USA Food Drive Challenge, slated for Thursday, Oct. 30, to Thursday, Nov. 6, encourages fans to donate nonperishable food items to the pantry at six MTSU activities with the goal of collecting the most donations of any school in the league.
“Because we’re new to the conference, we wanted to make a splash in the food drive last year,” said Becca Seul, coordinator of withdrawals and programs and overseer of the pantry. “This year, we’re really hoping to step it up and be at the top of that list.”
The athletic events targeted for the food drive are:
- “Murphy Madness,” the reopening of the renovated Murphy Center, 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 30, Murphy Center;
- MTSU vs. North Texas, women’s volleyball, 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, Alumni Memorial Gym;
- MTSU vs. Brigham Young, football, 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 1, Johnny “Red” Floyd Stadium;
- MTSU vs. Marshall, women’s volleyball, 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, Alumni Memorial Gym;
- MTSU vs. Martin Methodist,
women’s basketball, 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 6, Murphy Center.
Representatives of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will be on hand to gather needed pantry items such as fruit cups, crackers, granola bars, popcorn, drinks, peanut butter and beverages.
In addition to food items, volunteers at the athletic events will accept monetary donations for deposit into the food pantry’s MTSU Foundation account so that needed items can be purchased in bulk at a moment’s notice.
Since the pantry opened two years ago, it has been visited more than 900 times, Seul said. Homeless and foster care students are among those who patronize the pantry, but individuals who are between paychecks or whose meal plans have run out also obtain food there.
“We have a big, diverse population of students that are coming in, and they’re just taking everything,” said Seul. “They’re not focusing on just one item anymore.”
Earlier this year, during the spring 2014 semester, the pantry moved from the McFarland Building, which is under renovation, to the new Student Services and Admissions Center, known as the MT One Stop.
In addition to the food drive, the pantry will benefit from 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of long-sleeved T-shirts featuring the MTSU seal. The shirts are available in sizes small to 3XL, are $15, payable by cash or check, at the MTSU Alumni House, 2259 Middle Tennessee Blvd.