Everyday people in our community experience food insecurities just like everyday many of our Tigers experience food insecurity. In Shelby County alone, the food insecurity rate for 2020 was approximately 13.7%. These numbers come from feeding America. The Midsouth Food Bank, who were are proud to partner with states that food insecurity has risen to 44%.
Everyday we, here at the University, work diligently to keep our shelves stocked with high protein, nutritious foods that will help our students to focus on what they should be focusing on, and that is being the best they can be. It is difficult to study and do well in class and on class work if the biggest worry in your mind is where is my next meal coming from. By having a well stocked food pantry for those who need it, we can help alleviate some of those concerns.
The Tiger Pantry began about 10 years ago offering students food items, health & beauty supplies along with limited cleaning supplies and was known as Clio's Closet. In July 2017, Cleo's closet was closed in the History Department and on August 28, 2017 reopened as the Tiger Pantry operated by the Dean of Students Office. The focus of the pantry since that time has been on food and toiletry items.
Since academic year 2020-21 we have seen visits to the pantry increase 124%. Currently the pantry serves between 100 and 150 per week! Yes, that's per week. With prices increasing at an alarming rate, it is getting more difficult to keep the shelves stocked. Your donation can assist so many students by allowing us to continue our much needed program.
Your generous donations will allow us to continue to assist our food insecure students by providing high protein, nutritious meals for our students who need them along with necessary everyday toiletries.