FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fairmont State University students are making strides to help tackle food insecurity.  

The university’s Psi Chi chapters of the International Honor Society in Psychology secured a $750 grant to help stock the on-campus donation center. The grant was given by the Psi Chi’s Grants Committee and Board of Directors. The funds will be used to buy food and hygiene items for Freddie’s Pantry.  

Freddie’s Pantry on Fairmont State University’s campus (WBOY Image)

The chapter’s student president Shelby Helmick said the idea to address food insecurity among the student population stems from a popular psychological model of human potential: Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.  

“Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs specifies that having access to basic necessities such as food, safety and shelter enables an individual to switch from a focus on just surviving to a focus on improving mental health,” explained Helmick. “By stocking food items and sanitary products in Freddie’s Pantry, the Fairmont State Psi Chi Chapter is able to support the local community by helping inconvenienced individuals meet their basic need for food thereby allowing them to focus on higher-level needs that can support mental health.” 

Non-perishable items in Freddie’s Pantry (WBOY Image)

Freddies Pantry was unveiled at the start of the fall 2021 semester. It’s located near the parking area of Hunt Haught Hall on Fairmont State University’s campus. The goal is to allow students an anonymous way to collect food and hygiene items if they need them.  

The grant funding will allow Freddie’s Pantry will be fully stocked by Spring 2022. Psi Chi also plans to run an awareness campaign to help decrease the stigma surrounding food pantry usage. 

Hygiene items in Freddie’s Pantry (WBOY Image)

“The campus community will benefit from this project in many ways,” said Helmick. “Those who are experiencing monetary hardships will be given greater access to basic necessities and food products, while the local community will have increased awareness of the prevalence of food insecurity in West Virginia and of the health benefits one receives when their physiological needs are met.”