At a preeminent Christian research institution such as Baylor University, the typical challenges of college life can often be amplified. Academic rigors and the stress of being away from home often demand more of a Baylor student. Navigating these difficulties can prove quite challenging under the best of circumstances. But, when food insecurity – an inability to rely on a consistent source of ample, nutritious food – is added to the typical stressors of college life, it puts pressure on every aspect, and impedes education. And, while food insecurity sounds like an issue that may be related to poverty or lower-income areas, a Baylor-conducted survey revealed that a significant number of participants – currently up to 25%, nationally – faces food insecurity or does not have reliable access to nutritious food. And that means food insecurity is an issue for some students, right here at Baylor University.
Committed to eliminating the obstacles to academic excellence that its students might encounter, Baylor established The Store, an on-campus food pantry that provides nutritious food, free-of-cost, to students who may be dealing with food insecurity on our campus. The Store, in operation since 2018, has been a successful endeavor helping countless students, thanks to the generous support of the Baylor Family, who have donated to its cause.
Their continued commitment has prompted direct responses from students surveyed, who have either benefitted from The Store and its provisions or who look forward to doing so:
- "It would be very beneficial in providing me with food when I simply cannot afford to have groceries available at my apartment.
- "This...would mean a lot to me this semester, by giving me a meal during times I can't afford to eat out or buy groceries. As someone who works 2 jobs on- campus as well as another job off-campus; I fully rely on the small amount of income I receive to pay my rent as well as groceries for food. Sometimes things happen that cut my budget that I have to cut off my grocery budget for the week. This would be tremendous help if given to me. Thank you."
In response to these and other indications that food insecurity was a significant issue at Baylor, the Faculty Senate made a commitment in early January to support The Store’s continued operation by pledging $3,000 to the initiative. Within 24 hours, generous faculty and staff exceeded their goal, displaying the dedication to students that is a hallmark of Baylor University."
"That was just the initial goal," explains Faculty Senate Chair, Matt Cordon, "to provide immediate health for food and security. But we’re not going to stop there. We’re looking at initiatives to raise that amount even more."
With the $3,000 goal quickly met, the Senate set a new mark, hoping to raise $10,000 by the end of the month to provide even greater support to an important and often overlooked part of a Baylor student's life. In a matter of hours, that goal, too, was surpassed and the new goal of raising $15,000 has been set. If the generosity of the Baylor Faculty, Staff, and Students is any indication, that new objective will easily be met and students at Baylor University will have one less hurdle to impede their education.
If you wish to partner with Faculty and Staff in their already incredible generosity, you can contribute to The Store by visiting this link.
100% of all proceeds go to students pursuing a Baylor education.