By Molly Hurley
Students, faculty, and administration come together at Bridgewater State University to help those in need. When it comes to student hunger, Jane Doherty, staff associate in the Department of Chemical Sciences knew just what to do to make a difference. Food Bank 4 U, a project to offer free food to students began on September 1, 2014.
The idea came about while Doherty was attending an OID (Office of Institutional Diversity) book club meeting. She says, “My daughter Julia came up with the call to action ‘Feed The Future’ and is the business side of Food Bank 4 U.” Doherty, who is now the Founder and Director of Food Bank 4 U, wanted to give her idea a name that students wouldn’t have think too hard about to understand its purpose. Doherty says she wanted the name to be “simple and self-explanatory.”
Green bins have been placed throughout campus, where donations can be made anonymously. The hunger of students is important to Doherty. “How can you focus in class sitting there hungry and worrying about your next meal?” she said. “Having food increases your concentration.” Those who have trouble finding the bins can drop off their donations to RCC012. Departments and clubs on campus can also hold drives where donations can be made for pick up. Feed the Bears, an organization on campus, has since had an impact in Food Bank 4 U.
Feed the Bears strives to spread awareness of student food insecurity on campus and assist Food Bank 4 U with food drives and fundraisers. Almost any food item can be donated. “We go through a lot of cereal, oatmeal, pop-tarts, granola bars, rice, black beans, ANY canned meat, mac-n-cheese, anything you can pop in a microwave or add water for quick meal, peanut butter, and soups,” said Doherty. Future success for Food Bank 4 U is ongoing, and Doherty says that there is “lots in the planning stage.”
If you are interested in learning more about Food Bank 4 U you can contact Jane Doherty at firstname.lastname@example.org or FoodBank4U@bridgew.edu For those looking to become a part of Feed the Bears, you can follow their club Facebook page, Feed The Bears: BSU Food Bank 4 U. Food Bank 4 U is open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 11 p.m.