Feeding the hungry masses

Feeding the hungry masses

Patrick Sweeney / The Arbiter

Students are broke, really broke. With the cost of tuition, books and school supplies, how is anyone supposed to even eat? Well, if this is an issue, here is some good news: starting last month, St. Paul’s Catholic Student Center, directly across from the administration building on Joyce Street, now has a student food pantry open two days a week.

In late January 2011, Ben Moore, the director of Crosswalks Campus Ministries, happened to pick up an issue of The Arbiter. In the issue was an article discussing how University of California Davis,  had begun a program called the UC Davis food bank, to help students who were in distress over the rising cost of tuition and food.

A study they had done on their campus showed 25 percent of students sometimes skipped meals just to save money.

The pantry’s goal was to provide students with free easy-to-make meals they could take home and prepare themselves.

Moore thought this was a great idea, and if it worked for UC Davis, it was worth a try at Boise State.

University administration approved the idea of a food pantry, but for the past year, the pantry was lost in the bureaucracy of trying to find a suitable location to house the pantry, no easy task.

St. Paul’s Catholic Church, which had been providing free meals to anyone after mass for the past 15 years, came forward with the location earlier this year. Together with Moore, they were finally able to open The Horse’s Bit food pantry.

“It’s limited for students,” Moore said. “The only requirement is you have to show a BSU ID,  and there is a variety of real quick fix-it meals, mostly dry goods, no meats or milks yet, good for on campus or off campus.”

This comes at a perfect time for students. As the cost of living is steadily increasing, it can be hard for students to afford school and still be able to buy food.

“Our advantage is we are student-driven, we try really hard to be aware,” Moore said.

Rose Johnson, the president of St. Paul’s student center and a senior communication major said, “once more people know about it, more people will come. We will start to get more support. People tend to forget students when they are thinking of the hungry.”

“We have been open the last two weeks, but only averaged two to three people a time.” Moore said. “We are ready to go; we are just waiting for students.”

Since the word got out about The Horse’s Bit, other campus ministries and community organizations have been jumping on board, but Moore was also very adamant about trying to get some student organizations or clubs to volunteer and help out.

The Horse’s Bit is open on Tuesday’s from 4 to 6 p.m. and on Saturday’s from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and they will be open during Thanksgiving break, as well as Christmas Break.

Call St. Paul’s at 208-343-2128, or visit www.facebook.com/HorsesBitStudentPantry for more information. If students wish to help out by volunteering or donating, call or top in at St. Paul’s Catholic Student Center, 1915 University Drive.

Feel free to come down, but also be sure to take only what you need as content is limited and the pantry would like to help as many students as
possible.

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