Bloomsburg University students giving back by being “flex”ible


BLOOMSBURG, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — School is out for the summer, but before enjoying summer break, students in Columbia County are making sure they give back to those in need. They say even the smallest donation can help go a long way.

Many college students say spending time in the cafeteria is one of their favorite hobbies. But for some, it’s impossible to buy all the food on their program. Which is why their unused flex dollars are being put to good use.

“It’s really nice that a program like this exists at Bloomsburg. I think it gives the students the opportunity to really give back to the local town. We haven’t always had the best relationships so this a way to bridge that gap,” Bloomsburg grad student Corey Bishop said.

“Flex” is money used for purchases at campus dining venues beyond a student’s set number of meals. Some students that didn’t use all of their dollars, donated them to Aramark, the campus dining service to purchase items for the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard.

“It’s really wonderful. This is the kind of food we really can’t justify because individual portions are more expensive, but it’s the kind of food that the kids love,” Food Cupboard coordinator Martha Sheehe said.

“I think it’s really cool that it gives the students a chance to be able to spend money on campus but also at the end of the year, be able to give it back,” Bloomsburg grad student Courtney Enderline said.

This year, more than $8,000 was donated.

“I feel like everyone can relate to a time where maybe they didn’t have something, or they needed something for themselves or a family member or somebody they cared about,” Bishop said.

Every Monday from 5 to 6, BU students can actually come to the food cupboard to pick up all kinds of food items, like a can of sweet peas.

“I actually have some friends personally who may not have it all together so in that situation, they’re able to consult different resources and go get help which I think is a good experience especially being in college, like it’s a rough financial phase in life,” Bloomsburg grad student Shantel Robinson said.

It becomes a win-win for everyone.

“As a college student, it’s important to give back to this community because they are giving to us by allowing us to come and take over their space and make this space our home,” Enderline said.

Over the last two years, Bloomsburg University students have donated more than $15,000 to the program.

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