To begin the holiday months, the Mobile Food Pantry is at Colorado State University to help fight hunger and food insecurity.
The first Mobile Food Pantry was held Nov. 2 from 4 to 6 p.m. in front of the Hartshorn building at CSU.
The Mobile Food Pantry is a monthly event intended to help people at CSU and offers up to 50 pounds of free food per person. It began last year.
532 students, faculty and staff got a total of around 16,000 pounds of food on Thursday from the Mobile Food Pantry, according to Heather Womack, warehouse coordinator at Food Bank for Larimer County, a non-profit organization that provides the food.
Womack said they picked the most expensive and nutritional food, including greens, kiwis, white cheddar, cereal, pudding, canned soups, pizza, yogurt and lentils, to make sure people have healthy options.
Jen Johnson, one of the organizers of Mobile Food Pantry and a staff at the Student Leadership, Involvement, and Community Engagement (SLiCE) office at CSU, talked about the reason why they organize the Mobile Food Pantry.
“In 2013, we did a survey to figure out how many people on our campus were experiencing food insecurity and we found about 10% of people were needing food. So (organizing the Mobile Food Pantry) is a way to address the need,” Johnson said.
Compared to the Mobile Food Pantry in October, which provided food to 425 people, there were more people who came and got food this time, according to Johnson.
“Typically, during the winter months close to the holidays, there is more need (for more food),” Johnson said.
Along with Johnson, many CSU students and staff volunteered to help with the Mobile Food Pantry.
Lori Vanagunas, Dining Services staff, has volunteered four times.
“I will keep volunteering as long as they do it, because it’s such a good thing,” Vanagunas said. “Besides helping people, you also see the joy in people’s faces.”
Lindsey Paricio, a senior majoring chemistry and a first-time volunteer for Mobile Food Pantry, talked about her passion for addressing the problem of food insecurity.
“I do some insecurity stuffs with ASCSU, so it’s a cause that is near and dear to my heart,” Paricio said.
Waiting in a line in chilly weather did not stop the volunteers or those waiting in line.
Sofia Gonzalez, a sophomore majoring in computer science who got food from Mobile Food Pantry, said she felt it was a good event.
“It’s helping build the community and gathering everyone to come together,” Gonzalez said. “For some people, when they go back home, they don’t have much food to eat and (Mobile Food Pantry) will be helpful to them. (Food provided here) is also a good mixture of fresh food, which is good for right now, and nonperishable food, which is good for later.”
Collegian reporter Yixuan Xie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @YixuanXie1.