After seeing his peers regularly going without food due to tight budgets, one student at Alabama A&M University decided to lend a helping hand.
Justin Franks, 20, told ABC News that while working as a desk assistant at his dorm in September, he started noticing a group of students who often went to bed hungry.
“The cafeteria here closes pretty early, and a lot of students here don’t have the money to go outside of campus to eat. I wanted to cater to those students,” he said.
— University Herald (@UniHerald) November 1, 2016
Franks decided to go to a store and used US$40 of his own money to buy packets of instant noodles and Capri Sun juice drinks.
After posting about it on Facebook, the modest stash of food has grown, and now includes other necessities, such as toothpaste and paper towels.
“It just exploded from there,” said Franks. “We started getting donations from so many people: sororities, alumni, and others in the community.”
Currently, the food pantry is being run from an old mail room at his dorm in Huntsville and is open from 6pm, when the cafeteria closes, until 11pm.
“A lot of students are busy and might not have time to get to the cafeteria before it closes, but it’s important they still get to eat,” he said, adding that many students have come up to him expressing their gratitude for opening the food pantry, as “they’re financially unable to eat out”.
What’s even more inspiring is the fact that Franks is a full-time student who works not one, but three part-time jobs.
Justin Franks. Image via Facebook.
Despite his busy schedule, Franks said he will continue to always make time to help others.
“‘Service Is Sovereignty’ is our school’s motto and I want to live up to that,” he said. “I’m hoping that we can keep expanding the pantry and that it’ll continue for years to come.”
Image via Facebook