Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College are working on a new initiative with the United Way of the Bemidji Area to address student hunger.
Nina Johnson, director of BSU’s Hobson Memorial Union, said the partnership is helping to develop programs at both BSU and NTC to offer students with access to free food.
“Food is a basic need,” she said. “It’s enormously challenging to learn and pursue growth and achievement when you’re hungry.”
According to a release, the partnership will help BSU and NTC students access free food.
NTC has a student lounge with a “leave what you can, take what you need” boxes, and BSU is looking to start a food pantry.
“This food pantry will serve as a means to help students when they are struggling to meet this need,” Johnson said. “It will also be an opportunity for us to come together as a community and support one another.”
The United Way secured a $1,500 grant from Beltrami Electric’s Operation Round Up for the project.
“The conversation with United Way offered us resources but, maybe more importantly, helped us realize our goal was achievable,” Johnson said.