IPFW held a ribbon cutting to launch the opening of its new on-campus food bank. Administrators say the food pantry is open to students, staff and the public.
The pantry is centrally located in a small room in Walb Student Union. The room is filled with shelves stocked with packaged and canned food items. The pantry is open to anyone regardless of income and people can can fill their bags with up to 15 items.
Jessica Mafera is the student food pantry manager, and says they offer non-traditional shopping bags to help fight the stigma of food insecurity. “One little thing is we have bags from student housing. Instead of people just carrying out Kroger bags or grocery bags. It looks like you just went to student housing or the bookstore,” said Mafera.
Jordan Zanderson is a junior at IPFW who works for the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Office. He says students often come to their office asking if they are hosting any programs that are serving food. Zanderson added, “A lot of students depend on the events on campus because you know sometimes you don’t have money that week for food or you just forget your wallet.”
The effort is a collaboration with the Community Harvest Food Bank, and receives financial support from the Indiana-Purdue Student Government Association.
For now, the pantry will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays when the campus is open. It's currently accepting packaged food and monetary donations.