Food Trends

Alabama student opens food pantry in dorm room

An Alabama A&M student says since he's opened his food pantry, he's received donations from local organizations and the surrounding community.

An Alabama A&M student says since he's opened his food pantry, he's received donations from local organizations and the surrounding community.

A student at Alabama A&M University is being praised for turning his dorm room into a donation-based food pantry that helps fellow classmates in need.

Justin Franks, who works as a shift desk assistant at his dorm, said he first noticed a problem in September.

"I noticed that there were some students that said they were going to bed hungry," Franks told FOX 5 Atlanta. "So, I thought about it and said, 'What can I give back to my community?'"

He initiated the project with just $40 of his own money. Said Franks, "I started with pretty much just noodles and Capri Suns and I had a few household products like tissue and water."

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The student posted about his new venture on Facebook, and the story has since been shared hundreds of times—bringing in donations from organizations all over campus, alumni and even the local community.

"I didn't think it would get shared that much, but people really cared about our students and Alabama A&M University." 

Now Franks’ pantry is stocked with a variety of canned food items, chips, instant noodles and even basic personal hygiene products. Those in need can visit up to three times per week to stock up. His pantry is open from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.—well after the school's main cafeteria closes.

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Franks says he has helped nearly 100 students to date. 

"To me, it just makes me feel like I'm blessing someone," he said. "I'm a religious person and I feel like I can bless a student. Some nights, students will be like 'Man, I really appreciate this because I didn't have anything to eat.'"

More from FOX 5 Atlanta.