There's a new resource at the University of Montana to fight against student hunger, and its grand opening celebration is happening on Tuesday, February 12.
UM's food pantry opened about a week and a half ago, and organizers hope the grand opening celebration will help more students realize the food pantry exists. The event will include a ribbon cutting, a silent auction and speeches.
Pantry supervisors say many students put most of their money toward paying the rising costs of going to college, and don't have enough left over to buy food. Pantry student coordinator Kat Cowley says they're working on getting official numbers, but they estimate as many as 1 in 3 UM students don't have enough to eat.
"This isn't normal. College students absolutely should not be living off of ramen," Cowley said. "As funny as those jokes are...you shouldn't making a joke out of trauma. Struggling day to day to figure out where your next meal is coming from can be incredibly traumatic."
Cowley hopes the pantry will help people across campus realize someone cares about them, and that they aren't alone. The pantry uses donations to stock its shelves, and accepts donations of food, hygiene items and money. Donations can be made here.
The grand opening is scheduled for Tuesday, February 12 at 2 p.m. in the West Atrium of UM's University Center. The event is open to the public.