Baylor combats food insecurity through access to ‘The Store’

By Julia Lawrenz | Broadcast Reporter

A Baylor research study found that 10 to 20 percent of students on campus don’t know where their next meal will come from. To help alleviate this problem, the university created a food pantry known as “The Store,” which is an on-campus food pantry for undergraduate and graduate students.

Michelle Cohenour, director of student success initiatives, said the pantry sees a variety of students each month and tries to meet everyone’s needs.

“We see normally about 400 students per month that come to the store,” Cohenour said. “We try to have a variety of food available for students with self-stable items, including toiletries.”

The Store is driven by donations. With such a high demand, Cohenour said the food pantry diminishes quite quickly. She said they go shopping every two weeks and spend an average of $1000 each shopping trip.

Cohenour said the goal of the food pantry was to be an easily accessible resource to students.

“We want students that are coming to feel comfortable,” Cohenour said. “All students need to do is swipe their card and that will open up the door for them to come on in to the store and get whatever they need.”

The Store offers other resources, including a program known as “The Fridge,” which has placed mini fridges around campus for students to come and help themselves to perishable food items. The Free Farmers Market held every semester is also sponsored by The Store, and the next one will be on April 20.