COMBATING CAMPUS FOOD INSECURITY

By Rachel Robertson, development specialist, Annual Giving, University of Utah

Pantry Impact Fast Facts:

  • 14,000 pounds of food distributed to students
  • Powered and operated by student volunteers
  • Assisted over 1,400 consistent students
  • Awareness and advocacy on food insecurity on a peer-to-peer level
  • Creating a safe, friendly and reliable system for the campus community

For almost three years, the Feed U Pantry has helped the University of Utah campus and community battle against hunger. Since 2014, the Feed U Pantry has provided more than 14,000 pounds of food to those who suffer from food insecurity at the U.

Food insecurity is a barrier that influences students’ daily lives and their academic journey. The Feed U Pantry is devoted to providing reliable access to food so that all students can focus on their classes, assignments and ultimately graduation day.

“It is hard to admit you need help but coming to the Feed U Food Pantry I feel welcomed and not ashamed,” said Juan, U student. “I am able to pick up items that I need and I know whom to contact if I am looking for something in particular. It is a great system.”

Twenty percent of undergraduate students nation-wide experience similar hard times like Juan and suffer from hunger, according the 2016 National Campus Hunger Report. Based on a 2015 campus survey and the volume of students utilizing the Feed U Pantry that number is likely higher than the national average here at the U.

“We have been working hard to build the Feed U Food Pantry into a space that is welcoming and supporting,” said Allie Menzdorf, director of development and outreach of the Feed U Pantry. “Food insecurity is a large issue, especially on this campus. It is crucial for the pantry to keep growing and expanding in order to meet the needs of our community. This is a resource that is more than a pantry full of food, it is an educational experience.”

The Feed U Pantry is powered by student volunteers, private charitable gifts, and community and campus partners. This program is crucial to the overall student body success at the U by providing vital access to food for those in need.

Members of the U community can make a difference in lives of students suffering from food insecurity by making a gift, donating non-perishable items or volunteering.

Monetary gifts of all sizes make an impact.  To help support the Feed U Pantry with a gift please visit the Feed U giving page. For more information about the Feed U Pantry, donating non-perishable items or volunteering visit their website at feedu.utah.edu