The food pantry operated at Oregon State University by the Human Services Resource Center has seen an increase in requests for food assistance since the emergence of COVID-19 in our community.
Assistant director Nicole Hindes said Winter Term finals week is normally a pretty quiet time with only a few dozen visits, but this year, staff saw hundreds of people coming in for assistance. Luckily this coincided with a surge in donations.
“Because so many donations came in from the dining concepts all across campus, we were often able to provide students and their families whole gallons of fresh milk, beautiful fresh produce, a few rolls of toilet paper and great shelf-stable pantry staples,” Hindes said. “In a time when many students are arriving to our door full of emotion and worry, they’re leaving with at least one fewer thing they have to worry about.”
During Spring Term, the HSRC is adjusting programs to primary remote delivery. They will be providing SNAP sign-up assistance remotely, in 9 different languages, available to both students and their families. They’re also ramping up other programs.
“Our partnerships with the Valley Library and Student Multimedia Services are leading to laptop and textbook lending programs where we’ll be securing digital course reserve options or as a last case scenario, shipping items directly to students,” Hindes said.
Like many other pantries in the community, the OSU Food Pantry staff are asking that individuals not donate food right now as sanitizing donated products or isolating them for a period of days is a logistical strain on the team. Donating money to the program is the ideal way to support the work the HSRC is doing. To donate: https://app.fundmetric.com/qvRUQF9u4
“Donated funds will help us support the Healthy Beaver Bags program – so we can help students access fresh produce, eggs, etc., during a time when our food pantry will otherwise be focusing on shelf-stable basics,” Hindes said.
Income eligible and local students, staff and community members will still be able to get food boxes at Champinefu Lodge on Wednesdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Food insecure members of the OSU community (with OSU IDs) will be able to receive a supplemental food bag on Fridays as part of the Healthy Beaver Bags program. This will contain eggs, yogurt and fresh produce. More information about HSRC service adjustments can/will be found here: https://studentlife.oregonstate.edu/hsrc