Lion Co-Op leads to new curriculum on campus

Lion Co-Op leads to new curriculum on campus
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Since the Lion Co-Op’s opening on November 15th, support and need from the campus community has led to growth and even talks of a new class coming to MSSU.

With 30% of students struggling with food insecurity, and many students without transportation stranded on campus over breaks, the Pride is coming together to connect Lions with resources.

For students constantly on the go like track athlete Elizabeth Pomatto, finding the time to eat is a struggle.

“I go from class to practice a lot, so I don’t get to like come here [The Lion’s Den] to eat, or go to the cafeteria to eat a lot, so I’ve gone to Lion Co-Op and I’ve gotten food to pack as a lunch, or pack as some snacks,” explained Pomatto.

Pomatto represents a growing number of students, utilizing the food pantry on campus, and finding themselves pleasantly surprised.

“When I first walked in, I thought it was just gonna be like canned goods, but they have a lot of stuff.”

Stuff like lotion, diapers, and deodorant, all in addition to a wide array of non-perishable food items, open to anyone in need within the Lion community.

“It’s those little things that make a difference in our lives, and if we can put a smile on someone’s face, make them feel that they’re special, worthwhile, that there’s a community here at Missouri Southern that cares about them and wants them to succeed, I think they are more likely to succeed,” said Andrea Cullers, who oversees the Lion Co-Op on campus.

It’s that line of thinking that’s led to food drives across campus and awareness campaigns run by students, all leading up to an eventual class Cullers hopes to offer next fall.

“It’s a multi-disciplinary class. So students all across campus could take it, and they would volunteer. They would work in the pantry, but more importantly, they would do projects.”

That sounds like a class Pomatto would be happy to sign up for because she knows first-hand that everyone can use a little help.

“I go over there enough, so I might as well work there!”

Students are currently fundraising for the Lion Co-Op, hosting a month-long raffle called “We Give a Crock.”

Beginning March 21, tickets will be on sale at the MSSU Bookstore for $3 or $5 for two.

The winner will recieve a Ninja Smart Crockpot valued at $130, a one night stay at Downstream Casino Resort with dinner at Spring River Buffet, and a Club 609 gift certificate.

The raffle will end April 18th and the winner will be announced on Good Friday.