After a campus-wide survey in fall 2020, it was identified that more than 35% of Oglethorpe students suffer from an inadequate food supply each week. Even more students shared that they cannot guarantee they will be able to purchase more food before their current supply runs out.
This food insecurity inspired Oglethorpe Student Government Association members Coja Jones ’22, Jakeb Sanders ’23, Makayla Adams ’22, and Jose Valtierra ’24 to start Petey’s Pantry, a student organization committed to founding and maintaining a campus food pantry.
The mission of the food pantry is to provide free non-perishable food and personal care items to Oglethorpe students in need. As a student-focused organization, the pantry’s main priority is to help fellow Stormy Petrels who are currently experiencing food injustice. The group also strives to encourage student engagement to foster a sense of community, volunteerism, and service to peers on campus.
In addition to providing food and personal care items, Petey’s Pantry is also making efforts to decrease waste by accepting food item donations that would otherwise be discarded. Moreover, the committee is raising awareness around hunger and food injustice, especially as experienced by college students.
After almost a year of planning and leadership from Associate Director of Student Wellness Natasha Byrd, Petey’s Pantry was launched on October 4. Within the first 24 hours of announcing the grand opening, more than 35 submissions were received from students requesting services.
This early success would not be possible without the food pantry’s first donors, OU alumna Donna Gainer ’93 and Publix Super Markets Charities. These donations gave students the foundation to start this important initiative, and their generosity will continue to impact future students.
You can help support this campus project and ensure Petey’s Pantry remains an active and integral part of Oglethorpe’s campus by donating via its Amazon Wishlist or contributing on OU Giving Day, November 4, 2021.
Oglethorpe’s inaugural Giving Day is a 24-hour online fundraising event where the Oglethorpe community is encouraged to donate to one or several current and upcoming campus projects. Check out the OU Alumni Instagram and Facebook pages for the donation link, which goes live at 12 am EST on November 4.