SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va., – The eight fraternities and sororities that make up Greek life at Shepherd University held their annual Pack the Pantry service project earlier in October as part of Homecoming Spirit Week activities on Shepherd’s main campus.
Then, volunteers weighed each organization’s total donations to see who donated the most food and water. However, the competition was not just about the total weight of donations. The organizations also had to create a spirit banner and make a creative display of their donated items. Both of these components were then judged to determine an overall winner.
“Service is definitely a norm here at Shepherd, and it is one of our most emphasized core values within fraternity and sorority life,” said Roush.
“Our groups are always more than willing to participate in Pack the Pantry. Over the last two years, our fraternity and sorority community has donated 4,900 pounds of food to our on-campus Ram Pantry,” reported Roush.
The real winners of the food drive competition, however, are the students who rely on the Ram Pantry, because they are hungry and need food. The Ram food pantry, which is available for both on-campus and commuter students, was created in 2019 to help address food insecurity among Shepherd University students.
The Ram Pantry is located in Boteler Hall, and students who need food can go there to get both non-perishable and some limited perishable foods. Students are asked to fill out an intake form and provide their student ID to show that they are a current student.
Once they register, they are then given a grocery bag that they can fill up. Students can find non-perishable staples like pasta, macaroni and cheese, cereal and cereal bars, and soup.
These staples help feed Shepherd students who are having difficulty affording food.
The Ram Pantry works in partnership with the Mountaineer Food Bank. According to their website, the Mountaineer Food bank is the largest emergency food provider in West Virginia. They distribute over 20 million pounds of food annually and support over 450 feeding programs in 48 counties in West Virginia.
In addition to the Mountaineer Food Bank, the Ram Pantry has also received donations from local organizations in Shepherdstown, including the New Street United Methodist Church and the Shepherdstown Lion’s club.
Representatives from Shepherd welcome donations from student organizations, the Mountaineer Food bank, and donations from the community, as they estimate that it costs about $10,000 a year to operate the Ram Pantry.