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SGA’s Free Little Food Pantries Support Students in Need

by Dylan Leonard

Photo by Dylan Leonard.

This semester, the Student Government Association (SGA) established the Free Little Food Pantries program on campus and built small pantries to discreetly offer food and personal care items to students in need around-the-clock.

The blue pantries are available outside of Millstein Library on the sidewalk or on the second floor of the library’s foyer during operating hours. 

Al Thiel, the director of student involvement and student services, described the pantries as a “campus-wide project that has been received well by students, faculty, and staff.”

Thiel said these facilities are not monitored for students’ sake.

“They are intentionally unmonitored to ease that stigma and trepidation that folks may have to use them,” he said.

Clubs, organizations, and departments on campus can sponsor the pantries for a month. The sponsors will be responsible for restocking supplies and spreading awareness of pantries on campus.

So far, the working group for the food pantries include Rick Fogle, the dean of Student Services; Dr. Sheila Confer, director of the Academic Village and an instructor of Theatre Arts & First Year Studies; and Brian Root, assistant director of Housing and Residence Life. 

Thiel provided a list of items for those wishing to donate, including those of high demand, such as canned tuna or chicken, canned spaghetti sauce, various nut butters, rice and pasta, cereal, and oatmeal. 

These items should be sealed non-perishables that are able to withstand temperature changes.

In addition, the pantry seeks personal care items like shampoo, deodorant, menstrual care products, toothpaste, and laundry detergent. 

Item donations can be left directly in the pantries. Anyone interested providing monetary support to the program can contact Thiel at ajt58@pitt.edu.

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