MACU Opens Food Pantry to Help Students in Need

By: Whitney Knight

During these times, food insecurity can be a big worry. To help alleviate this burden on students, MACU has partnered with the Oklahoma Regional Food Bank to open a food pantry, ensuring that no Evangel goes hungry.

Open three days a week in the Fowler Center, MACU’s food pantry serves both the traditional and adult student populations. The pantry stocks various types of non-perishable foods such as canned goods, bread, cereal, rice and snacks, as well as some perishable items that are kept in a freezer.

“The food pantry is incredibly helpful for me,” said student Margarita Pena Franco, who majors in Mathematics and Psychology. “I’m able to get basic foods like legumes, rice, pasta and even complete meals that have kept me from having to spend so much money on my groceries.”

Franco said she visits the pantry once a week to stock up on basics. “It makes me feel loved and cared for by how much MACU has given to us by providing the food pantry,” she said.

Student Activities and Leadership Coordinator Caleb Schirmer, who helps oversee the food pantry, calls the effort “God-led.” Over the last few months, he said he is proud to have seen the pantry grow from a small effort to help stranded international students during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic to the permanent fixture it has become on campus.

“The pantry in a way reminds me of God’s Grace — it is a gift freely given,” Schirmer said. “Nothing can be done to earn it and faith is the only action we can do to receive it.”

He said the food pantry operates the same way. “Students don’t have to do anything to receive it,” he said. “All they have to do is come, have faith to step into the room and take freely what’s presented to them. It’s a blessing for me to be a part of the Lord’s work and watch Him be present in my life and theirs.”

The food pantry also offers students a means of earning credit for community service, which is required as a part of MACU’s curriculum. Every week, students can serve their peers by working in the food pantry. There are also opportunities to give. In addition to accepting donations of non-perishable foods, the food pantry appreciates Walmart gift cards to help purchase items that students love and need.