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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Stuff the CatTran”: One of many UA community initiatives aimed at addressing food insecurity on campus

Marison Bilagody

Boxes of food line the inside of the CatTran at the “Stuff the CatTran” event put on by Campus Pantry at the UA Mall on April 13. The CatTran still had lots of food to be sorted through before it would be delivered to the food bank.

The CatTran was stationed on the UA Mall Wednesday, April 13, as part of an annual two-part community initiative led by Campus Pantry and the Community Food Bank aimed at addressing food insecurity on campus by collecting food items for the two groups.

The first part of this initiative took place on Sunday, April 10, with the Food Bank going door to door in the Sam Hughes neighborhood of Tucson, asking for donations. The event, also known as “Stuff the CatTran,” took place on the UA Mall where organizers collected bins filled with all the donations from the campus-wide food drive that started on March 13.

According to Riley Conklin, a graduate assistant for Campus Pantry, half the donations from this stage of the campaign went to Campus Pantry, and the other half of the items went to the community food bank.

This event was just one example of Campus Pantry’s commitment to providing resources and services to the UA and its surrounding communities. The Pantry also hosts some of its own drives throughout the school year. 

“Sometimes we’ll have a drive-thru or drop-off donation in the roundabout of the student union,” Conklin said. “We also partner with different colleges or organizations on campus that will host drives for us.” 

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“We also have community partners that will place their own bins throughout the community,” they added. “Tanque Verde Lutheran Church does that, every month they come in and drop off about 500 pounds of items from all the bins they have around town.”

With such an active role in the community, Conklin stressed the importance of student and community engagement.

“A lot of students like to get involved, they like to donate to us, like to fundraise within their own clubs or we have group volunteering opportunities where people can come in to help restock the pantry or just clean it up,” Conklin said. “Community engagement is also one of our biggest goals as a pantry because, in order to provide correct items and services, we need to be in constant communication with our users to make that happen.”

Apart from stuffing the CatTran, Campus Pantry also has some other upcoming events that students can take part in, including a fundraiser at Postino, a restaurant located on Grant Road and Tucson Boulevard.

“It’s a fundraiser for their two-year anniversary I believe, and if people could just continue supporting us and coming to the pantry, we love talking to everyone and supporting everyone,” Conklin said.

In order to support Campus Pantry, students and faculty can volunteer, apply for positions posted on Handshake or make donations to the Pantry at any time.

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