Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

May 5, 2014

Feeding frenzy

The NSU RiverHawk Food Pantry opened last September to help students in need

TAHLEQUAH — For some students, attending college can be a daunting experience. Add to that a shortage of finances for basic needs like food, and the problems can seem insurmountable.

Northeastern State University’s Greek organizations want students to feel like they’re part of a community in which people help one another, even in the roughest of times. The RiverHawk Food Pantry is one way to demonstrate that attitude.

Located in the basement of the University Center, the pantry offers students nutritional assistance for themselves and any dependents they may have.

“The idea came about from Dr. Laura Boren, vice president of Student Affairs, and Sara Johnson, coordinator of student activities,” said Helen Lahrman, coordinator of Greek life and Community Engagement at NSU. “They conducted a study and met with people from the University of Arkansas Food Pantry, and the information they gained solidified the fact that NSU needed a resource like this.”

Lahrman was hired in June 2013, and the pantry opened its doors that September.

“So far, it’s been used by about 70 students and has benefited about 150 people, as many of those students have dependents,” said Lahrman. “I love helping fight food insecurity. When we looked at the numbers, we found that one student indicated they experienced going without meals at least six to 10 times per month. Thanks to the pantry, we’re helping to reduce those numbers.”

The pantry comprises 132 square feet of space, with six heavy-duty shelving units that store, on average, over 10,000 pounds of non-perishable food items and personal hygiene products. The pantry is open to any current NSU student, and can be visited once a week.

A secondary project held last fall, the Food Basket Frenzy, provided baskets containing everything needed to prepare full Thanksgiving meals for 80 students and community members.

“The pantry is run entirely by students,” said Lahrman. “It has a governing council comprised of five students, who work with businesses and corporate sponsors and plan food drives, etc. They are also responsible for overseeing the pantry volunteers, who are also students.”

The pantry is open two days per week: Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to noon, and Fridays from 2 to 5 p.m.

“It really shows students what a college is,” said Lahrman. “It’s about helping each other, and that everyone is equal. I think it’s very impactful for everyone involved. But the students make this happen, I’m just here to help.”

Lahrman credits NSU student Ethan Hayman as the person responsible for bringing the pantry idea to fruition.

“Without him and his dedication, it would not have happened,” said Lahrman. “He’s been a real inspiration, and we’re helping as many people as we can.”

According to Lahrman, there are no income guidelines for students seeking assistance.

“We ask a few income questions, but we don’t want to turn students away as long as we have supplies,” said Lahrman.

NSU participating organizations include Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, Northeastern Activities Board, Inter-Fraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, Athletics and Auxiliary Services.

Every year, Lambda Chi Alpha hosts a citywide food drive, the proceeds of which are donated to the Tahlequah CARE Food Pantry. Now, they go to the RiverHawk Food Pantry.

“We’ve visited with the CARE Food Pantry people,” said Lahrman. “We don’t have much space here, and any larger items, excess and bulk products are donated to them. We try to partner with them, and I think that relationship will grow and prosper in the future.”

CARE Food Pantry coordinator Rebecca Baughman said they have received items from the RiverHawk Pantry.

“We’ve gotten some big, institutional-sized canned good from them, which we generally can’t use, but if I can I pass them along to Feed My Sheep,” said Baughman. “[In 2012], Lambda Chi Alpha collected about 25,000 pounds of food for us during the food drive. Last year, they collected about 13,000 pounds. The fraternity is really good about dividing things up and choosing the best-suited items for the clients of each pantry.”

Baughman confessed she was a little concerned when NSU opened its own food pantry.

“We were really concerned when they started, but I think the people who support the NSU pantry don’t necessarily support us, and vice versa,” said Baughman. “I think it’s a good thing they’re working to help people not go hungry. It’s a movement nationwide to have food pantries at college campuses.”

GET INVOLVED

To make a donation or find out more about the NSU RiverHawk Food Pantry, contact Helen Lahrman, coordinator of Greek life and Community Engagement, at (918) 444-2644.

tsnell@tahlequahdailypress.com

1
Text Only
Local News
  • svw-beagles-MAIN.jpg Going to the dogs

    Hounds at center stage for more than just Red Fern Festival

    Larry Blackman and Titus Blanket have always loved dogs, especially beagles. In their respective roles as president and vice president of the Cherokee County Beagle Club, they’ve turned that love into a passion.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • sanders-jeri.jpg Murder charge against mother of dead boy, 3, dismissed

    A first-degree murder charge has been dropped against a 37-year-old mother accused in the death of her 3-year-old son.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • supersalary.jpg Okla. superintendents paid comparatively well; teachers 46th lowest

    Administrators say they work year-round, have other duties

    As public education in Oklahoma continues to feel the pinch of a shrinking state budget, watchdog groups and district patrons across the state are asking whether superintendents are getting a disproportionate piece of the financial pie.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Boards keep city, county afloat

    City and county officials rely on a variety of boards to oversee diverse and complex issues, and many of their members work behind the scenes to keep the wheels of government oiled and turning.
    The city of Tahlequah currently has 10 boards and three trust authorities. Cherokee County has two county-specific boards.

    July 31, 2014

  • HPWA contract raises gas to $3.99 a gallon

    The Hulbert Public Works Authority renewed its natural gas contract with Constellation Energy July 29, raising fuel prices to $3.99 per gallon for the next two years.

    July 31, 2014

  • Tourism Council OKs compensation

    The Tahlequah Area Tourism Council held its annual retreat Wednesday, and approved paying former Director Kate Kelly 100 hours of annual leave.

    July 31, 2014

  • rf-poker-run-main.jpg Poker run

    Fundraiser was in the cards for local philanthropic group

    It was perfect weather, with temperatures in the high 80s Saturday, as boaters filled their vessels with friends for a fun afternoon on Lake Tenkiller. A crowd gathered at Cookson Bend Marina, and folks lined up to support a local charity event.
    As fundraisers go, the Beta Sigma Phi Mu Omega Poker Run last Saturday could be considered huge success, as nearly $9,000 was collected.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • bilbrey-anthony.jpg Man arrested for blackmailing woman for sex

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies put a man behind bars Monday night after he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman by threatening to post nude photos of her on the Internet if she did not meet him for sex.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach_photo_2.jpg Peach crop lean, but fruit still available

    Summer is all about peaches in Porter – especially at Livesay Orchard.
    The Livesay Orchard is still busy a week after Porter’s annual peach festival. The orchard’s crop this year was cut in half from what had previously been expected, according to Kent Livesay, one of the owners of the orchard.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • jackson-jaymee.jpg Tot’s injuries prompt abuse charges for two local residents

    A Tahlequah couple was formally charged Tuesday with child neglect and child abuse after an 18-month-old girl was found with a number of injuries.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

Poll

Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Stocks