Ben Moore, co-director of the Horses Bit Student Pantry, a non-profit food bank, said he finds it an honor to serve students and to be a part of their lives in this way.
“The Horses Bit is a food pantry for students,” Moore said. “The Horses Bit is a joint venture primarily between two campus ministries and student organizations-St.Paul’s Catholic Campus Center and the Crosswalks Campus Ministry.”
The only criteria for accessing the pantry is students are asked to show their student ID.
“If they don’t have a student ID we’ll serve them once but then we’ll direct them to some other food pantries that have better resources for non-students,” Moore said. “Other than that we don’t have any qualifications. If we have food we’ll serve people.”
Students that come to the pantry are required to fill out a small information card, for data purposes, but Moore said it’s a pretty confidential process.
After that, students are free to take things they like.
“It’s a choice pantry so they get to choose what they want and what they don’t want,” Moore said. “On average it’s two to three bags of groceries.”
Moore said they don’t have a limit right now on how often students can come.
Currently, they have students that come once every two or three months all the way up to twice a month.
It just depends on the need.
Since the holidays are right around the corner, some people are not only in need, but might want to volunteer and help.
“If people want to volunteer they most certainly can,” Moore said. “It’s a fairly easy training. We have a few volunteers that are fairly regular and some that it just depends what’s going on.”
Food drives are always helpful according to Moore, especially from the community.
“So far we have not had to get any food, except our initial start-up food a year ago, from the food bank,” Moore said. “They’ve all come from other donations, which has been really helpful to us.”
People who want to donate can get a list of popular items that tend to go out the door fairly quick, according to Moore.
“They can contact us for that (list),” Moore said. “We try to be really cognizant of student needs so we have a lot of quick items and a lot of stuff that doesn’t take a lot of preparation. We have stuff for on campus and off campus people both.”
The pantry doesn’t get many personal items donated to them.
The pantry mostly offers canned foods and foods that aren’t perishable due to limited space.
Moore said their goal is to eventually offer fresh foods.
Students in need and students who wish to help out can learn more on Horse Bit’s Facebook page.
The pantry is located upstairs in the St. Paul’s Catholic Student Center across the street from the Administration Building, on the corner of University Drive and Joyce Street.
It’s currently open Tuesday from 4-6 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30-11 a.m. and by appointment.