ASU students say "Flex It Forward"

ASU reminds students to flex it forward
(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Hunger doesn't discriminate.

That's what members of the group, Volunteer A-State, are working to remind fellow students.

Katey Provence, coordinator for Student Services at A-State, said they are asking fellow students to donate their flex dollars to the A-State Food Pantry.

Flex dollars are loaded onto a student's ID card that can be used at any restaurant or store on campus.

"Volunteer A-State has asked students to use their remaining flex dollars and flex it forward to our A-State Food Pantry to try and help stock it for the summer months," she said.

The food pantry has become a vital part of the campus.

"Our students use it on a weekly basis," Provence said. "We do stay open during the summer. So, it is very essential to those students that are staying here during the summer months that they still get that resource every week."

Provence said the number of people they serve at the food pantry has become steady.

"An average week at the food pantry we can serve anywhere from 15 to 20 households that have either a student, faculty or staff member in them," Provence said. "During the summer, we see that decline a little. But we still see people come in every week."

While the numbers they serve may fluctuate, the need is constant.

"There is always a need. Hunger does not discriminate," Provence said. "We see it affect our students, faculty, and staff at different times in their lives. It may be temporary, it may be ongoing. But we serve anyone with an A-State ID, regardless of financial need. They don't have to prove anything like that. We will serve them just because they are a part of our A-State family."

Student Landen Crancer said he thinks the food pantry on campus is great.

"I think it's an awesome resource for students," Crancer said. "I know a lot of students I interact with, they work to pay for their tuition and their rent and sometimes they come up short on money for food. And it's just a great resource that we have available to us as students."

Provence said when they first opened the pantry, she had no idea how big it would become.

"We've been open for about two and a half years," Provence said. "I had no idea that it would be as much of a need and a necessity on campus as it has become. But I'm glad we are finding those students that have the need and filling that void for them."

Crancer said he felt students should use what was left of their flex dollars for fellow students.

"At the end of your spring semester, all of your flex dollars go away. They are erased completely," Crancer said. "So, there's really no sense in just holding on to those and letting them go away when our fellow peers have a need of things the food pantry could use. Like peanut butter or bottles of water."

"Don't let those flex dollars go to waste," Provence said. "Don't let them just disappear. Just go by the campus store and grab a couple of things of peanut butter or some laundry detergent and just swing by the Leadership Center and donate those."

Provence said their most needed items are toiletries like shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste and toilet paper.

Food items they could use are peanut butter and jelly, pasta and pasta sauce, canned meats like tuna or chicken, and any sort of microwavable meals.

If you are interested in making a food donation, you can go to the Leadership Center, located in the Student Union.

If you are interested in making a monetary donation you can visit the A-State Foundation located in the Judd Hill Center, or you can click here.

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