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Ames food pantry highlights this year’s MLK Jr. Day of Service

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Joseph Dicklin
A food/supplies donation box filled to the top for the MLK Jr. Day of Service food pantry Jan. 25, 2024.

The College of Veterinary Medicine hosted its yearly MLK Jr. “Day” of Service from Jan. 8 until Friday, in which food drives were hosted for the Ames community. The college hosted both a pet and personal food drive. This is the first year items were collected for both pantries. 

Students and faculty donated food and other items near the ISU Dining Gentle Doctor Cafe in the College of Veterinary Medicine.  

Rachael Rail, ISU Foundation associate director of development, stressed the importance of the food pantry. 

“With the College of Vet Med being sort of removed from Central Campus, we find that our students have a little bit of trouble getting to those food pantries but still have the same concerns,” Rail said. 

A study done by the National College Health Administration (NCHA) indicated that 31% of Iowa State students face food insecurities.

Donations closed Friday and will be wrapped up and ready to go for pickup at the Ames food pantry. For those looking to contribute after the deadline, the college offers other food drives.  

Along with the food pantry that went on during that period of time, people at the College of Veterinary Medicine have started their own food pantry called the Bone Appétit Vet Med Food Pantry, which will be restocked through multiple smaller food drives. Items can be donated to the ISU Dining Gentle Doctor Cafe for these smaller food drives. The pantry does not have to be food, as people have started donating toiletries and even diapers to help out fellow students in need.

“I think things like this are always important to the community to show that, you know, we care about our fellow community members, whether that’s in vet med or in the community of Ames,” Rail said, speaking on the importance of food pantries for the community.

Joseph Dicklin

This event has started to expand in the past few years. People were also able to make pet toys with material donations of ribbons, fabric, fleece, yarn, paper towel or toilet paper tubes, and masking, washi or duct tape.

“It’s grown a little bit and extended sort of outside just the one day so that we can get as many folks involved as possible. As you know, with the hospital, that is constantly busy and there are people here all the time. We all have different schedules and things like that, so we wanted to make sure that everyone had the opportunity to participate,” Rail said on the importance of growing the MLK Jr. “Day” of Service.

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