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Maverick Food Pantry Gives UNO Community Something to be Thankful for

Reporter

Published: Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Updated: Sunday, January 19, 2014 15:01

Food Pantry

Photo Courtesy of www.unomaha.edu

Bill Pickett stands with a student in the Maverick Food Pantry

 

This year University of Nebraska at Omaha brought a new organization to campus- the Maverick Food Pantry. 

The Maverick Food Pantry is open to all faculty, staff and students enrolled at UNO. Its mission is to eliminate hunger at UNO and increase nutritional awareness by providing food to those in need. Part of this caring mission includes providing food packages containing enough non-perishable food items for two days to students.

“Many people within the UNO community may find themselves struggling to provide for themselves in our current economy,” said Marvin Holford, graduate assistant at the UNO Counseling Center. “The Maverick Food Pantry hopes to lessen that burden at least a little by helping to provide food resources.” 

The Maverick Food Pantry also strives to connect students in need with other resources in Omaha for long term help.

Although the Maverick Food Pantry is new to UNO, it has already had success. This fall, UNO Housing participated in a reverse trick-or-treat event on Halloween. The event consisted of volunteers traveling around campus “trick-or-treating” for donations from university offices, departments and buildings. Volunteers collected over $200 and over 3,600 non-perishable food items for the pantry. The event was such a success that it won a regional award for community service and will go on to compete at the national level. 

Bill Pickett, director of housing and director of the reverse trick-or-treating event, credited the success of the event to the faculty and staff. 

“I feel this program was such a huge success because of the marketing towards the faculty and staff,” Pickett said. “We have a great group of faculty and staff willing to support any type of community service endeavors.”

Other organizations have also stepped up to collect food for the Maverick Food Pantry. Holford said during Homecoming week the UNO Bookstore collected 294 items, the Criss Library collected two shopping carts full of items, and Maverick Productions collected 767 items. Due to the collections from Homecoming and the reverse trick-or-treating event, the pantry is currently well-stocked going into the holiday season. Donations are always welcome, especially breakfast items and canned fruit, which are in more need.

The Maverick Food Pantry is located on Milo Bail Student Center’s first floor and is currently managed part-time by staff members and volunteers. Individuals, groups, and clubs are welcome to volunteer to collect food from donation sites across campus, sort and shelve donations, fill orders or participate in food drives. 

“It is great to see the UNO community coming together to support those who may be in need of assistance,” Holford said.

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