Wesley Foundation’s Food Pantry Addresses Student Hunger


By: Matthew Johnson, Connectional Ministries and Communications Assistant

Rev Paul Roller presents a donation from Fairfield UMC in Ellisville.
The Wesley Foundation on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi, USM, is collecting food donations to bless students who are facing food insecurity. Thanks to the generosity of donors the pantry was filled, but as a new school year begins more donations are needed to keep up with demand.

According to the USM Wesley website, more than 40% of college students endure food insecurity on a weekly basis. The Feed a Student Drive started in May with a goal to have food items ready to distribute to students when classes began in August. The program has been a success, but with the start of the new school year reserves have started to dwindle.

“The need is growing because of returning students,” said USM Wesley Foundation director Eric Davis. “We provided food for eight international students, and it just about wiped us out.”
Eric Davis, right, USM Wesley Foundation director.
Davis went on to explain that many international students arrive without food resources and have no idea where to find food.
James and Debbie Buckhaults.
“We provided food for a young man from India,” said Davis. “He was so thankful because he had nothing.”

Hattiesburg area United Methodist Churches have stepped up to supply and refill the food pantry. Led by Debbie Buckhaults and her husband James, members at Fairfield United Methodist Church in Ellisville recently donated food to the Wesley Foundation. For Debbie, the Wesley Foundation was her home away from home when she was in college, and she relished an opportunity to support students who are currently being ministered to at the USM Wesley Foundation.
“They needed and we gave,” said Buckhaults. “It’s amazing to watch what they’ve done for the students there. We plan to continue helping. I just love the Wesley Foundation and helping students.”

The USM Wesley Foundation’s food pantry is still in need of food donations. If you or your church would like to donate, click here for more information.


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