The UGA Student Food Pantry is expanding for a reason.
Ansley Spinks, the student pantry committee assistant, told of a letter the student pantry committee received from a University graduate who almost had to drop out of school because tuition left him little money for food. He thanked the committee for helping other students that need food during the day or who can’t afford to eat on campus.
“It was awesome because that’s what we’re doing this for. We can help our peers and it’s something you don’t think about walking around campus,” said Spinks, a sophomore from Snellville majoring in social work.
The UGA Student Food Pantry, which is a confidential means of providing free and healthy food to students who can’t afford it, has expanded its hours to be open every day of the week to serve students in need.
The pantry, which was founded in 2011, recently did a trial run of keeping the pantry open every day during the week at the request of students who thought it was necessary.
“Students asked us why we weren’t open all week because we normally just do Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” Spinks said. “Since it is expanding and getting bigger, we decided we could try it, and it went well last week, so we’re going to keep it open.”
With the expansion, there is also a need for more manpower in order for the pantry to stay open all week.
“We’re looking for more volunteers to get involved with that and to also get the word out to make sure people know that it’s there so they can use it when they need it,” Spinks said. “We have had a lot of people emailing us asking to volunteer, so that helped up make the decision to be open more.”
The pantry is also looking to find a bigger space and expanding beyond offering just food, including adding toiletry items to the pantry.
“Next semester, we’re going to redesign it, hopefully make it bigger and have toiletries, which is what we’re working on now, because that’s just as much of a need as food,” Spinks said.
Donations are also necessary to help keep the pantry in operation.
“We are open to anyone donating. We have some staff member that donate, and some of the classes that have to do volunteer work raised a lot of food for us last semester,” she said. “We’re open to that because the more food, the better.”
What: Student Pantry
When: Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Memorial Hall, room 208
Cost: Free to anyone with a student ID
Donations: The food pantry has a list of suggested foods to donate including canned vegetables, rice, pasta, peanut butter, cereal, soup and canned fruit.