“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me...Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’”
What started as a simple conversation in a car ride grew into a ministry that seeks to address this growing, silent suffering.
Realizing that there was a somewhat urgent need for a food resource, we quickly put together and cleaned out a shelf to house non-perishable food and other supplies that students may need.
Tucked away on the back porch of Canterbury Episcopal Campus Ministry, SHELF'D strives to offer a stigma-free gateway to nutrition for anyone who feels they do not have enough nutritional food to eat. If you are hungry, you are welcome. No exceptions, no questions asked.
The pantry is stocked regularly with non-perishables such as pasta, tuna, cans of soup, and other canned vegetables.
There are bags if you wish to grab-and-go, and suggestions for improvements related to our stock are extremely welcome.
We are working on gaining support from the community, the VA Episcopal Diocese, as well as JMU itself to get the resources we need to help students right away.
Just weeks ago we held a meeting with a number of people from positions all over the university and the community to discuss the basic needs crisis that had arisen in our data.
That group of people will continue to meet to discuss how we can raise awareness and help students who are dealing with food and housing insecurity.
We are doing our best to continue the conversation and collect all the data we can from previous research (see JMU Alum Emily Kohl's detailed research on hunger on JMU's campus from 2016!) to build upon what we know already and how we can work to end campus hunger.