Basic Needs Hub provides students in need with food, clothing, toiletries

Hub expanding to fill variety of student needs

By JAMIE ABELL on August 29, 2023

Three people stadning in front of food pantry
Faith Borras (left), Gurjot Chand and Alison Peer work together to provide students with food and other basic needs at the Hub. (Lauren Castellana | Towson University)

The white trailer next to Towsontown Parking Garage stands out for the services it provides to address sometimes unseen challenges.

It’s the new home of the Basic Needs Hub, formerly the Towson University FoodShare, and it will provide free food, clothes and personal care items for students in need.

“We want all students to feel like they can use the hub,” says program director Faith Borras ‘22. “Whether someone is hungry before class and doesn’t have time to stop in their dorm to make a snack or if someone hasn’t had a meal in several days, we’re ready to help. Students need their basic needs satisfied to succeed academically.”

Borras served as the AmeriCorps VISTA for the FoodShare program last year prior to stepping into her new role. This year, she will work alongside the new AmeriCorps VISTA, Gurjot Chand, to run and develop future hub initiatives.

Different from previous years, the hub also provides clothes for students, ranging from brand-new undergarments and chest binders to donated shirts and pants. This new offering, known as Tiger Threads, will allow the hub to help more people on campus face different challenges.

The hub has come a long way since it started as a filing cabinet filled with food items. Alison Peer, TU’s associate dean of students in the Office of Student Affairs, is looking forward to seeing it grow further.

“I’m so glad this space has become integrated into this campus community,” says Peer. “Not only is it easier to access, but it also exposes students who may not need the services to an understanding that real problems still exist and hopefully encourages them to get involved in making a change. The hub is part of what makes TU an inclusive campus.”

This semester, students can also expect to find three smaller food pantries across campus, and new food lockers will replace the remote pick-up bin in the University Union. The lockers will be in West Village, the Academic Commons and the Towson Center.

In addition to Tiger Threads and FoodShare, the hub staff can answer questions and support students filling out Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applications. In fact, the hub developed a tutorial video to guide students through the form.

Starting in mid-fall, the hub will introduce peer-to-peer SNAP application assistance in collaboration with the Department of Family Studies & Community Development. Students will receive practical work experience and training to provide a supportive environment for outreach and advocacy related to SNAP benefits.

Also, after taking a series of tests and partnering with the Maryland Food Bank, the hub will soon expand its food offerings to include perishable items and fresh fruits and vegetables.

As it becomes more integrated into the campus community in the coming years, Borras also hopes to provide free assistance with transportation, prescription drugs, housing and child care along with financial, culinary and literacy courses to the TU community.

“I’m grateful to be a part of a university that values the hub and supports its growth,” says Borras. “This is just one of the ways we can start tackling inequities and social issues within our campus community.”

The hub is open Monday – Thursday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. If you need assistance during off-hour times, order remote pick up.

Get involved

Donations of clothing, food and personal care items are highly encouraged to support students’ basic needs through the Hub. You can find the most needed items below. Individuals can deliver donations during operational hours. For larger groups interested in initiating a donation drive, email for detailed coordination.

Most Needed Items

Ramen noodles

Mac & cheese


Pasta sauce

Canned fruit

Microwaveable meals



Body wash

Bar soap


Gently-used winter coats

Gently-used clothing

New socks

New underwear

Laundry detergent