Here's how to help the Campus Pantry
The Campus Pantry's location and distribution hours have changed as it continues to serve the University during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pantry is now distributing food from the Sonora room on the first level of the Student Union Memorial Center on Tuesdays from 2-4 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
The new location is larger than the pantry's original space, allowing clients to keep their distance when they visit, said Bridgette Nobbe, a graduate student and the pantry's full-time coordinator. To mitigate the potential spread of the coronavirus, pantry staff members are washing their hands and sanitizing the area often. They also are putting food into clients' bags rather than having clients handle the food.
The pantry needs donations of food and toiletries more than monetary donations right now, Nobbe said, since many stores' inventories are low. Pantry staff members who made a trip recently to buy groceries could get only about a quarter of the amount they usually buy, Nobbe said. In addition, many stores are limiting the number of items that can be purchased at a time.
Donations can be delivered to the Sonora room on Tuesdays from 2-4 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. They can also be dropped off on weekdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Associated Students of the University of Arizona office in the union, Suite 325W.
The pantry is in particular need of the following items:
- Bags of rice
- Pasta sauce
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Canned meat, such as tuna or chicken
- Cans of hearty soups
Although the pantry primarily distributes food, some clients also need toiletries, such as soap, shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and deodorant.
For now, the pantry is well staffed with volunteers, but that could change in the coming weeks, Nobbe said. There may be future volunteer opportunities for healthy, non-immunocompromised people.
Among the tasks volunteers perform are stocking the pantry ahead of distributions, greeting clients, helping them find what they need and weighing their bags. Shifts run from about an hour to two hours, Nobbe said.