NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- The first food pantry at Old Dominion University is now available to students, staff, and faculty.

It's open twice a week Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

"If a student is hungry, then they can't focus in class and that's the whole reason they're here, to get that degree in school," said Frances McHugh with IGNITE Norfolk, a ministry on campus that helped start the food pantry.

The food pantry was launched after a survey last fall showed 1 in 4 students struggle with food insecurity.

"It's kind of sad to think that there's people that go through that struggle," said Rachel Waltz, a student at ODU. She said being a college student, sometimes they have to weigh whether to eat or spend money on school instead.

Everything at the food pantry free and everything is donated.

Waltz said it's a problem many students don't talk about but she hopes an effort like this sparks conversations.

"It's always good to know that you're going through the same thing as someone else because then you're more open to talk about it," said Waltz.

"We would love for them to know that we're here for them and this is a resource that's here to be used," said Emily Eddins with Old Dominion University.

If you'd like to donate to the food pantry, non-perishable food items can be dropped off at the IGNITE Norfolk office on campus.