On the first floor of Berkman Hall, the Lift Up Vikes! food pantry (LUV!) is a salvation for many struggling students. It provides Cleveland State University students with food and toiletries at no additional cost.
This wonderful initiative is an extension of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. They supply students mainly through donations and operate mainly with volunteers. Students can “shop” up to once a week.
According to their website, the “convenient, dignified, and compassionate process” allows students to supplement their nutrition and basic needs, so they don’t have to worry about those things while trying to earn a college degree. In fact, all students need to do is fill out a one-time contact form, and then they are free to shop.
Students are not required to show any need, the pantry allows students to determine whether they need to use their services. The pantry also works hard to be conscious and inclusive of dietary restrictions.
Students can access the pantry through appointments between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. However, they will work with students who cannot make it to the pantry between those hours— one of their many extraordinary shows of kindness and empathy. The pantry is designed incredibly well and provides an incredible experience for its users.
The pantry is an incredible addition to the university, and we should all be thankful for its staff and services. Parking services recently allowed students to pay off up to $50 per parking ticket by donating a jar of peanut butter to the pantry.
This will likely incentivize students to donate an in-demand food to the pantry while simultaneously being rewarded through a lowered fine. I think that the Cleveland State community should follow suit and show appreciation for such a needed, beneficial organization.