Lincoln Memorial University’s Women of Service has teamed with LMU Student Services to open Lincoln’s Cupboard, an on-campus food pantry, to provide healthy food options for LMU students, staff and faculty.
“Compassion. That is what this initiative is all about,” LMU WOS President Judy Hansard said. “Just imagine how much good we can do in this community simply by showing compassion and watching as it is passed along.”
Members of the LMU community, regardless of their financial situation or income, may visit Lincoln’s Cupboard (located in room 316 of the Student Center) once a week and receive a bag of groceries. WOS is working with its members and soliciting food and financial support from LMU student clubs, faculty, staff, alumni and the community to keep the shelves stocked with convenient, non-perishable items including canned fruit, muffins, granola bars, popcorn, canned chicken and tuna, shelf-stable milk, nuts, soups, peanut butter, pasta, drinks and more.
“Our students come from all walks of life and keep very different schedules. While our dining services provide sustenance to our residential students, we recognize that not all students are on meal plans and may have needs that are not being met,” Dean of Students Mary Ann Searle said. “Food insecurity is an issue that is becoming an epidemic at every level of education. This is a hidden population at most institutions, one that we will really need to work to reach. I hope that our faculty and staff will be touch points, sharing information about this service with the people who need it.”
The Lincoln’s Cupboard initiative was born during one of the first WOS organizational meetings when the group was discussing service projects. Hansard adopted the project as her President’s Initiative at the beginning of her term last spring. She met with Searle and Director of Student Life Rick Stowe to research the needs of the LMU campus community. The group also organized a trip to the University of Tennessee to observe a similar program which serves over 100 students a week.
“This is not a hand out, rather a hand up,” said Sherrie Claiborne, alumni rep to the LMU Board of Trustees and WOS member. “How can you study when you are hungry? We know this academic community has individuals that choose education over some basic needs because they believe, like we do, that education is a key to unlocking a better life.”
A pair of LMU students will man Lincoln’s Cupboard under the direction of Rick Stowe, Director of Student Life. The pantry will be open five days a week, from 1 to 7 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Fridays. For more information contact Stowe at 423.869.6811 or by email at jimmy.stowe@LMUnet.edu.
Established in 2011, the LMU Women of Service is open to all women who want to help students at Lincoln Memorial University. By living as an example of service, WOS members teach LMU students about the incredibly important mission of service to humanity. With proceeds from activities like the WOS Christmas Festival and the Service, Sweets & Style for Scholarships fashion show, WOS funds student scholarships, provides family aid and cultural enrichment opportunities to LMU students.
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.