Nobody likes going to bed hungry; however, for those without easy access to food, sometimes that fate feels inescapable.
When 20-year-old Alabama A&M University student Justin Franks noticed that his classmates were often forced to go to sleep hungry due to the cafeteria closing early, and because some classmates are on a budget (which means they had limited amounts of funds to purchase food outside of campus), he used $40 of his own money to start a donation-based food pantry in his dorm for students without food.
He first noticed his classmates often went to bed hungry when he was working as a desk assistant at his dorm in September.
"They didn't have any food," he told ABC News. "The cafeteria here closes pretty early, and a lot of students here don't have the money to go outside of campus to eat. I wanted to cater to those students."
What started out as a modest haul of Capri Sun links and instant noodle packages has grown into something much larger as Franks' idea began to garner attention on Facebook.
"After I posted about it on Facebook, it just exploded from there," he said to ABC News. "We started getting donations from so many people: sororities, alumni and others in the community."
At the moment, Franks, who works three part-time jobs and is a full-time student, is running the food pantry out of an old mail room of his dormitory. It is open from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m., and is stocked with snacks, drinks, and even personal hygiene products for those in need.
"'Service Is Sovereignty' is our school's motto and I want to live up to that," he told ABC News. "I'm hoping that we can keep expanding the pantry and that it'll continue for years to come."
According to Franks, many students have already expressed their gratitude for his initiative, and have personally benefited from the food panty in the dormitory.