INDIANAPOLIS – IUPUI has a new source of help for students: a food pantry.
Paw’s food pantry will be run by IUPUI students, serving any IUPUI student or staff member with a JagTag. Located on the second floor of the Campus Center in Room 220, it opened today.
Food donations are collected in the Office of Student Involvement, Room 370, in the Campus Center. The pantry accepts non-perishable, prepackaged canned or boxed food items. It hopes to serve fresh produce, bread, and other perishable items in the future.
Monetary donations can be sent to the IU Alumni Association at IUPUI c/o Jayme Little, 340 West Michigan Street, Indianapolis 46202. Donations are tax deductible as a charitable contribution to the IU Alumni Association.
Paw’s Pantry will be open on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.
“One of the wonderful surprises of my job is that I receive things in the mail and learn people are doing great things,” IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz said at an event celebrating the opening of the food pantry. “One of the joys of the campus is that people are committed to doing things when they see a need.”
The food pantry was inspired by a network television story on food pantries that have opened on college campuses to help students who have little money left over for food after paying their academic bills.
Co-directors of the pantry, Erin Sass and Joe Spaulding worked for a year to create the pantry. They are members of the Student Organization for Alumni Relations and the Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholarship program, respectively, the two sponsoring student organizations. Jenn Boldig, who graduated from IUPUI last December, served as the first chair of the pantry initiative.
About 20 to 30 percent of students who have enrolled at IUPUI qualified for free or reduced lunch in high school. Sass and Spaulding pointed out that the need for food assistance doesn’t disappear with college enrollment.
Sass and Spaulding said the pantry demonstrates the philanthropic spirit of IUPUI students, who see a need and want to address it.