Helping Students in Need

The Interdisciplinary Studies department is proud to announce that we have opened a food pantry for students in need. Funded by the Student Support Foundation and personal donations, the food pantry is now open for business. The ideology behind the Interdisciplinary Studies program at Plymouth State University revolves around exploratory learning, but another important aspect is accessible education. We aim to bend, not push. If we can provide a service that will help our students thrive academically, then we’re eager to do it. The food pantry is a single step in our long journey towards affordable, accessible, and adaptable education.

How does a student qualify for the food pantry?
If a student is interested in the food pantry’s services, but he is wondering whether or not he qualifies for it, he probably does. We’re eager for students to utilize its services, but we understand that the relationship between need and desire can be hard to distinguish. Here are some scenarios that may provoke a student to visit our food pantry:

  • “It’s the end of the semester and I’ve used all my meal swipes.”
  • “I’m in the library, cramming for a test, and I don’t have time to leave and purchase food.”
  • “I haven’t eaten today because I spent all my money on a healthy meal for my son/daughter.”
  • “Oh my god, I just got my period and I don’t have a tampon.”
  • “I’m locked out of my dorm room and I don’t have any money to buy a meal.”
  • “I don’t have any money to buy food and I’m hungry.”
  • “I ran out of money and I don’t get paid for another two days.”

The list continues. The point of the food pantry is to help our students succeed, in any way. We understand that every student who uses the food pantry comes from a different set of circumstances. We would like every student to feel comfortable using our services.

What does the food pantry offer?
We offer “quick bites,” like granola bars and chips, that will hold students over until they can eat a more substantial meal; laundry detergent; feminine hygiene products for women who unexpectedly begin their periods; and pasta, pasta sauce, dried beans, canned soup, cereal, and oatmeal for students who need staples for bigger meals. We’re also planning to stock gas cards for students who commute.

Additionally, starting in the Fall, we’re planning to establish a transportation co-op for students who commute and a childcare co-op for students with children. If you or someone you know may be interested in joining one of these co-ops, please contact us. Going to school and earning a degree should not be an uphill battle, but for many students, it is. For some students, a transportation or childcare support network could make the difference between staying in school or dropping out.

How can people make donations?
If you’d like to make a donation to our food pantry, all donations can be dropped off at the Interdisciplinary Studies office in the lower level of Lamson Library (area 003). The office is open Mondays (8:30 AM – 9:00 PM), Tuesdays (8:30 AM – 5:00 PM), Wednesdays (8:30 AM – 5:00 PM), Thursdays (8:30 AM – 5 PM), and Sundays (3:00 – 6:00 PM). We’re closed on Fridays and Saturdays.

In addition to our program, we encourage people to make donations to the Student Support Foundation, an organization whose mission is “to keep students in school through short-term emergency assistance and long-term student support.” We are collaborating with the SSF in part to make their services more accessible, so please check out their webpage and consider making a donation.

Who should people contact if they have questions?
If you have any questions about our food pantry or the Interdisciplinary Studies program in general, please feel free to contact the Program Director, Robin DeRosa, by phone (603-535-3147) or email (rderosa@plymouth.edu) or the Program Support Administrator, Janina Misiewicz, by phone (603-535-2510) or email (jlmisiewicz@plymouth.edu).

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