Volunteers needed at student food pantry

MaryEllen Brandell Volunteer Center is looking for volunteers to assist CMU's student food pantry


General: The CMU Student Food Pantry distributes food to students Wednesday, Jan. 26. The food pantry is open from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesdays, 3-5 p.m. on Wednesdays and noon to 3 p.m. on Fridays. 

Photo: Ubly junior Ryche Roggenbuck restocks the shelves of the CMU Student Food Pantry on Wednesday, Jan. 26.

The Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center is looking for volunteers for the Central Michigan University Student Food Pantry. 

The center provides students access to program and volunteer opportunities in local, national and global communities.    

Alyssa Vasquez is a graduate assistant in the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center who helps manage the Student Food Pantry.

Vasquez said the volunteer center houses the student food pantry which includes staffing, managing volunteers and building campus and community partnerships around reducing food insecurity.  

Alyssa Vasquez, Graduate Assistant, MaryEllen Brandell Volunteer Center

“The volunteer center has a team of student staff members who lead their peers in our programs and through our educational experiences,” Vasquez said.  

She said volunteers provide assistance during distribution times that occur five days a week, help with stocking, checking donated food, greeting and directing students using the pantry. All of which keep the pantry operational.    

“Volunteers are responsible for making sure the pantry remains a safe environment for people to receive the food support they need while keeping confidentiality a priority for our students,” Vasquez said. “Volunteers are crucial to the pantry to help with daily operations and reach out to more community partners to spread the word about our services.”  

She said all CMU students, staff and faculty can volunteer at the food pantry on campus and are looking for people to volunteer in hourly time intervals.  

Vasquez said benefits of volunteering include engaging with the community, learning about college student food insecurity, building connections on campus and fulfilling volunteer hours.  

To sign up to be a volunteer, visit Central Engage and sign in with CMU credentials. On the volunteer page, there will be an event created for every open distribution day of the semester. Students RSVP before volunteering.  

For students interested in visiting the food pantry, visit Engage to gain access to the request form which needs to be filled out prior to every visit.  

“There are students who both shop and volunteer at the pantry,” Vasquez said. “Students interested in learning more and getting involved can try both.”