The UM Food Pantry is raising funds through Thursday, Oct. 17, to participate in the national #RealCollege survey, which asks students to share their stories about basic needs insecurity. AmeriCorps VISTA/Campus Compact member Sarah Poole explains.

“This survey is a national survey that asks real college students to share their stories,” Poole said. “With this information, we can then take steps towards providing essential resources to students at the University of Montana. The funds raised through this campaign will go directly to students in the form of incentives for taking the survey and will help with the costs associated with bringing the survey to UM.”

UM is the only college campus in Montana that is taking part in this national survey. Poole says the UM Food Pantry is a lot like the Missoula Food Bank.

“We are quite a bit smaller than the Food Bank, but we do model our practices off of the food bank,” Poole said. “We go by a choice-based model, which mean customers of the pantry can come in twice a month and get whatever they need. We don’t ask any questions. Everyone is welcome, students and community members.”

According to Poole, UM students need help because tuition and housing costs have increased substantially. Most people think if student can afford to go to college, they can afford housing and food, but she says that isn’t the case anymore.

To donate to the UM Food Pantry’s Crowdfunding Campaign, visit here.

Donations are necessary because the UM Food Pantry is a nonprofit organization that relies on community donations and grants to make the program sustainable for the future.