UVU’s food pantry helps students in need and saves them from financial hardships
The food pantry on UVU’s campus is a saving grace for many UVU students and faculty who may otherwise go hungry in times of financial uncertainties. The idea of an on-campus food pantry began floating around the Volunteer and Service Learning Center around six years ago.
“Neal Maxfield’s service-learning class did research on poverty at UVU in 2009-2010 and really showed the need for a food pantry,” Goodrich said. “With the new research and the actual space available, the food pantry finally came about.” Said Lindsey Goodrich, the current intern with the center.
The UV “You Can” food pantry is located in LC 205. As part of the Service Learning Center office and is open for those who may not know where or how they will get their next meal. Students are welcome to utilize the pantry to take what they need to provide for themselves and their families.
The university also decided to join forces with the food bank to try and make a bigger difference on campus. Although UVU’s pantry does not offer fresh produce, the Community Action Food Bank in Provo makes those items available. On campus, one can find basic items such as canned food, noodles, and peanut butter.
Students who wish to receive support are welcome to visit the Volunteer and Service Learning Center weekdays from 8 a.m to 4 p.m. They are required to have their student ID with them and must be currently enrolled with at least six credits. For the first visit, students fill out an intake form releasing UVU from liability risks and are then shown the pantry to take their food.
The center has also teamed up with local organizations to offer further assistance and places to go for help for those who have lost jobs as well as offering nutrition programs, aiding those with housing problems, and increasing financial literacy.
“I think it’s a really important program because it seems to me that most people won’t go straight to the food bank because they are embarrassed to go,” said Darah Snow, the front office administrator for the center. “It’s really private and confidential. They can pick and choose what they want and leave. We don’t ask any questions. We trust them and know that we are here to help them. We do always refer them to the food bank because they have a lot more to offer.”
In the year since the center has opened, the pantry continues to reach out to students to let them know they are around to lighten a burden, if possible. There has been a lot of growth with the program and it is gaining recognition throughout campus. Advertising efforts are improving as well. It is important that students spread the word about the program to other students and faculty across campus so those in need can receive help.
“It’s nice actually because it seems like the advertising is working,” Snow said. “People are coming in saying they saw the signs. It seems to be quite successful. “
Community Action Food Bank is an organization located in Utah County and the creation of the UVU food pantry is helping them reach as many people as possible. According to an article published in the Daily Herald last year, the food bank serves an average of about 2,000 families per month, UVU students included.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Individuals can reach out to the Community Action Food Bank for additional help by calling (801) 373-8200. Contact the UVU Food Pantry in the Volunteer and Service Learning Center in LC 205 or at (801) 863-5335.