An Alabama A&M University student decided to help college students in need after noticing that students went to bed without anything to eat.
Justin Franks is an overachiever, restaurant manager and desk assistant at the Foster Complex on campus in Huntsville. However, he found time to create a food pantry to address the growing number of hungry students. In a late October profile with WHNT 19 News, the young man started the pantry with a little faith and $40.
“I noticed that there were some students that said they ware going to bed hungry,” explains Franks. “So, I thought about it and said, ‘What can I give back to my community?’ I started with pretty much just noodles and Capri Suns and I had a few household products like tissue and water.”
From there, Franks went to Facebook to spread the word. That initial post was shared nearly 700 times, he tells the reporter.
“I didn’t think it would get shared that much, but people really cared about our students and Alabama A&M University,” he says.
Since then, donations have steadily been pouring in, and Franks has fully stocked his pantry.
Students in need have a few options to choose from. The pantry has granola bars, chips, cereal, soup and oatmeal as well as toiletries.
“To me, it just makes me feel like I’m blessing someone. 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.’ ”
His pantry has helped nearly 100 students, and Franks is currently training a successor for after he graduates.