Huskie Food Pantry
An NIU student population focused on their education and not challenged by their food insecurity.
The Huskie Food Pantry provides supplemental support to currently enrolled NIU students without a meal plan who are experiencing food insecurity at no cost to the student. We employ strategies to create a welcoming and inclusive environment in which students can gather the resources needed to alleviate hunger, make healthy food choices and focus more on academic success than meeting their basic needs. The Huskie Food Pantry is also committed to providing students with experiential learning opportunities which will prepare them for student career success. In this endeavor, the Huskie Food Pantry also strives to facilitate community to provide these resources and opportunities to NIU students in an environmentally and fiscally sustainable manner.
History of the Pantry
The Huskie Food Pantry was born when staff member, Kathy Zuidema, began to recognize the need that some NIU students have while attending school. She heard stories of professors giving students packages of food because their students had not eaten in two or three days, of students riding bicycles to distant food pantries to obtain food for sustenance, and a consistent need from students who visit the financial aid office in hopes that they will be able to attain funding to help better support themselves while on campus.
Yet, this need is not NIU specific. Food pantries have been opening on university campuses across the country over the past 20 years, with one of the most prominent beginning at Michigan State University in 1993. The Huskies Student Food Pantry, now the Huskie Food Pantry, was created to meet the need of our students who face food insecurity.
What is Food Insecurity?
According to the USDA Economic Research Service, food insecurity occurs when a household has limited or uncertain access to adequate food.
Food Insecurity at State Universities in Illinois
According to a study that reviewed the food insecurity rate at Northern, Eastern, Western, and Southern Illinois Universities. the average rate of food insecurity at these institutions is 35 percent. The above rate, applied to the NIU student population of about 20,000, indicates the possibility of over 7,000 students in need on our campus.
Huskie Food Pantry
Located in the Chick Evans Field House on the south side of the building, across from Graham and Gabel halls.