This past April during the Michigan Campus Compact’s annual event at Michigan State University, Haley Moraniec, a social work major from Eastern Michigan University, was awarded the ‘Outstanding Community Impact’ award for her work in developing the Swoop’s Student Food Pantry at EMU.
The pantry is solely campus-based and is dedicated to helping current EMU students with food assistance when in need. Moraniec is the one who initially came up with the idea to create Swoop’s Pantry. In an interview, Moraniec said she wrote the proposal to begin the pantry back in May of 2014. “After receiving approval from the Board of Regents in February of 2015, I began to move forward with the process by establishing a partnership with Food Gatherers and securing space with help from the College of Health and Human Services.”
The Michigan Campus Compact promotes education and commitment by encouraging students to be civically engaged citizens. Moraniec was nominated for the award she received by Dr. Lynn Nybell, Director of the School of Social Work, and Jessica Alexander, Director of Service Learning.
“Haley demonstrated her abilities as a resourceful, persistent coalition builder and organizer,” said Nybell.
“I am both honored and humbled to be awarded the ‘Outstanding Community Impact’ award. It is rewarding to know that others share my views about the importance of food justice,” said Moraniec.
Moraniec graduated from EMU this past April from the Social Work program and will begin to work towards her master of social work from there in the fall. She plans to continue to coordinate Swoop’s Student Food Pantry and “work to combat food insecurity in addition to other barriers students face throughout college.”
In the future, Moraniec says she hopes to try to move Swoop’s Pantry to a larger space where more students can be better served.
The food pantry is located in EMU’s Marshall building. Since opening on Sept. 17, 2015, 14,500 pounds of food have been donated, with more than 920 students visiting the pantry. The food given to students is free of cost. If in need of assistance, EMU students are encouraged to visit Swoop's Pantry website and complete their intake form before heading over. Their current summer hours through August 16, 2016 are Monday’s and Tuesday’s from 2:30 pm. To 5:30 p.m. and every 2nd Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
If interested in donating of becoming a volunteer at Swoop’s pantry, more information can be found here.