The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

87° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA Campus Pantry to offer second distribution of semester

File+Photo+%2F++Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AThe+UA+Campus+Pantry+Board+organize+donated+goods+before+the+Feb.+1+opening.+Similar+to+other+campuses+across+the+country%2C+UA+Campus+Pantry+is+an+emergency+food+pantry+available+for+those+in+need+within+the+UA+Community.
Kelsee Becker
File Photo / Arizona Daily Wildcat The UA Campus Pantry Board organize donated goods before the Feb. 1 opening. Similar to other campuses across the country, UA Campus Pantry is an emergency food pantry available for those in need within the UA Community.

The UA Campus Pantry will provide free food and toiletries to UA community members dealing with economic instability.

The pantry will be open Oct. 4, from 2 to 6 p.m., in the main conference room of the El Portal building for its second distribution of the semester. Students, faculty and staff need to present their CatCards to use the UA Campus Pantry’s services.

The pantry is a confidential service to aid students, faculty and staff by giving them a resource to fight hunger insecurity, said Davis Bauer, co-founder of the UA Campus Pantry and a marketing senior. It is a national issue at universities due to the rising cost of tuition, he added.

“It can be tough financially on the students to combat the prices of feeding themselves,” Bauer said, “so that’s where the UA Campus Pantry comes in.”

The UA Campus Pantry began as an idea among UA students and staff in late 2011, according to Michelle Sun, adviser to the UA Campus Pantry and community director for Residence Life. Students and staff members in Residence Life and other departments on campus saw a need to create the the pantry because of the stories they heard and what they witnessed on campus.

In February 2012, the UA Campus Pantry held its first meeting to gauge interest and see if there was a need and interest among students. It formed its board of directors, found a location and obtained donations and support from clubs — finally opening its doors for the first time in January 2013, according to Sun.

According to Sun, the main goal of the pantry is to provide a resource for students and staff members who are having trouble making ends meet or are not able to provide the nourishment they need on a daily basis. The UA Campus Pantry helps with the burden of paying for food regularly as well as the growing cost of going to school and raising a family, Sun added.

“We try to bridge that gap and help people make ends meet,” Sun said.

Bauer said he has seen an increase in the number of participants since distribution first began.

Currently, they average about 20 participants per monthly distribution. This increase in people has caused the pantry to consider opening twice a month.

John Beeler, chairman of the UA Campus Pantry board of directors and a junior studying entrepreneurship and marketing, said he enjoys seeing how excited people get when they come in for the distributions.

“The best part is really seeing the excitement on people’s faces when … they see that it doesn’t cost anything,” said Beeler, “and seeing what a difference that makes in not only their life, but their day in general.”

The UA Campus Pantry operates on a point system, according to Bauer. Each item of food is listed between one to three points. Foods with higher nutritional content are worth more points, Bauer said, adding that people are typically allowed about 12-15 points per visit, depending on inventory.

Bread and durable produce such as apples are accepted the day of distribution. Peanut butter, granola bars, soup and breakfast items such as cereal are needed the most.

Supplies are not limited to food but also include money, clothing, school and toiletry supplies.

“It’s been really great to see how our time and our effort can have a positive impact on someone’s life,” Sun said.

Mariel Wilk, the UA Campus Pantry’s director of outreach and an elementary education junior, said she had an especially moving moment at the last distribution — when someone thanked her for saving their life.

“Just seeing that makes the work worthwhile,” Wilk said.

Students who want to help should contact the UA Campus Pantry through its Facebook page at Facebook.com/uacampuspantry or by email at uofacampuspantry@gmail.com.

– Follow Meggie Kessler @Meggie1024

More to Discover
Activate Search