The University of West Alabama, in partnership with the Livingston Lyons Club, opened the doors to its new Student Food Bank on Tuesday. The UWA Student Food Bank, located in the Fitness Center of the Student Union Building, serves students who are struggling to make ends meet.

“The idea had come about from talking with my students and then doing the research that looked at food insecurity across campus,” said Dr. James Robinson, the lead organizer of the food bank.

“We found out that almost half of our students on campus were in some type of food insecurity,” Robinson said.

The many expenses of gaining a college education can be financially exhaustive, leading students to make a choice between paying for school expenses or going hungry.

However, the social stigma of getting food from the bank could cause students in need to forgo this opportunity.

Robinson said that he does’t want students to feel stigmatized for needing food.

“We want it to be anonymous; that’s why we choose this spot,” Robison said.

“It’s open source, meaning it’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Robinson said. “However, we are confined by the fitness center hours, so as long as the fitness center is open, they can come in.”

Food donations can be dropped of at the entrance of the fitness center.

Donors who want to make a monetary donation should write a check to the UWA Foundation.

To volunteer, donate or learn more about the UWA Student Food Bank program, email Dr. James Robinson or call 205-652-3441.

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