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article imageStudent volunteers at UA food pantry are volunteers of the month Special

By Kay Mathews     May 17, 2011 in Food
Fayetteville - Volunteers at the student run Full Circle Campus Food Pantry located at the University of Arkansas received the “Student Volunteer of the Month Award" for their service to the community.
According to a May 16 news report from the University of Arkansas, “This marks the first time that a group has been selected for this award.”
The Full Circle Campus Food Pantry opened on Feb. 3 in order to provide emergency food assistance and personal products to all members of the University of Arkansas community. Student volunteers at Full Circle fill food requests, receive donations, file paperwork, stock shelves, and clean the pantry.
The University of Arkansas quotes Julia Lyon, the student responsible for the operation of and coordination of volunteers for Full Circle, as saying of the student volunteers, “Full Circle relies not only on their responsibility, but thrives on their kindness and compassion.”
I asked Lyon if she anticipated the need for food assistance to end in the near future or if she saw this as a long-term, continuing program? Lyon replied, via email, “I don't see the need ending any time soon. The value of a college education is increasing, and students are willing to make sacrifices in order to pay tuition and earn their degree.”
Lyon was asked the following series of related questions: Do you find that some folks are ashamed of needing this assistance? If so, what do you do to make them more comfortable with the process? For example, if they do not want to be seen picking up items, can someone else pick up items for them?
Lyon replied:
I do think some people are embarrassed to use the pantry. Unfortunately there is a stigma attached to being in need of assistance with hunger. The best thing I can say to counter those sentiments is that the pantry is student - run. It's all about students helping students. All our volunteers have signed confidentiality agreements and are there to help. It is absolutely okay to send someone else to pick up an order. We will even deliver the order to an office on campus if a student is more comfortable picking it up from another location - perhaps an advisor's office or the Off Campus Connections Center.
As you can see, her responses focused on the wonderful, compassionate student volunteers at Full Circle Campus Food Pantry.
The campus community feels the same. The Volunteer Action Center awards the “Student Volunteer of the Month Award” that “seeks to recognize students at the University of Arkansas who are impacting the Northwest Arkansas Community through service." It is, however, the campus community that nominates students who fit the qualifications.
In this case, it was a collective group of 16 students who received the award for the month of April, and “The winner will receive a certificate and be featured on the website. Additionally, each month's winner will automatically be nominated for the Volunteer Spirit Awards and the State of Arkansas volunteer awards.”
Lyon mentioned that the Full Circle Campus Food Pantry website has “a whole host of information” including most needed items such as cereal, canned soup, rice, dry beans, soap, toothpaste, and powdered detergent.
For more information about Full Circle, call 1-479-575-7693 or visit its website.
More about food pantry, Volunteers, student volunteers, Volunteerism, Award
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