MACOMB, Ill. — Western Illinois University has opened a student food pantry after a survey showed a large number of students skipping meals or going hungry.

The university says the pantry opened Thursday and will be available to any student regardless of income.

A group of students studying diet and nutrition sent out a campus survey last year to gauge interest in a food bank. They found that nearly half of students who responded had reported going hungry in the past month.

The survey results inspired students in the School of Agriculture to hold a food drive. They collected more than 1,100 pounds of non-perishable food for the pantry project.

The food bank will be open every Thursday until the end of the school year. It is run by a volunteer student organization.

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