The Bearcat Food Pantry has moved to the JW Jones Student Union to offer easier access to students with new hours from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

In conjunction with Northwest’s 10th annual Holiday Tree Lighting at the Thomas Gaunt House, the Jasinski family is again focusing philanthropic efforts on giving to the Pay It Forward Fund and Bearcat Food Pantry. Donors may bring items to Northwest’s Office of University Marketing and Communication, located on the second floor of the Administration Building, from November 26-29 or to the tree lighting, which begins at 5:15 pm on Thursday, November 29.

Opened as the Pay it Forward Food Pantry in September 2016, the service had been located in the Material Distribution Center and was staffed by University Police. The food pantry provides a source of food and necessities for students and employees who may be experiencing food insecurity and hunger.

“Students asked for a location that is easily accessed and centrally located on campus,” Sue Nickerson, executive secretary of student affairs and the food pantry coordinator, said. “The Union seemed to be an excellent choice as it is an area that most students are familiar with. We have an actual room for the Bearcat Food Pantry. The pantry will also offer bread, fresh fruits and vegetables at various times. We have more of a pantry look with cabinets and open shelving.”

Janay Orange, a senior public relations major from Kansas City and Northwest’s student regent, approached Nickerson with a request to move the pantry to the Student Union after surveying students about the location.

She says the new location will be able to accept more donations, allowing the pantry to stay open and full.

“We have more space, and I believe that alone will aid students if they need help,” Orange said. “For me, it is bringing a little taste of the Bearcat culture to it. The pantry is for the students and now we can work toward taking away the stigma that food pantries are negative. In reality, there is nothing bad about having another resource on campus to help our students live a little easier every day.”

Food donations are accepted throughout the year in the Student Union, and monetary donations are accepted through the Office of University Advancement, 800 University Drive, Maryville, MO 64468. Funds to go to Food Pantry, 660.562.1248. Community members may find needed items and provide donations by visiting