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UVU to Establish Student Food Pantry

14 September 2010 No Comment

September 14, 2010
For Immediate Release

For more information: SuHyen Perez (801) 863-5335
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Chelsey Richardson (801) 863-8504

To the 3,000 families a month that utilize the Community Action Services Food Bank in Provo, “food insecurity” is a familiar concept. The term has been used in recent studies to describe limited or uncertain availability of adequate, safe, and nutritional food, and it is beginning to pose a threat even on college campuses, due in part to increased tuition and grocery prices, the economic recession, and a lack of student employment options.

Utah Valley University is taking action, joining forces with the food bank to ensure that none of its students go hungry. On Friday, Sept. 17, the ribbon will be cut on UVU’s first student food pantry.

“We are excited to partner with Community Action Services Food Bank and provide this service to our students,” said Alexis Palmer, director of UVU’s Volunteer and Service-Learning Center. “Not only will the food pantry provide food, but also other community resources that students might not know about. For example, if we see a student coming to the food bank very frequently, we can send them down to Community Action Services to find other resources to help them as well. If students need help paying their heating bill, even, we have the resources to help them. We’re partnering with Community Action Services fully in every way — the food pantry is really only one part of it.”

Community Action Services Food Bank in Provo has reported a 48 percent increase in food requests since last year, which equates to approximately 70 more families per day than before. Southern Utah University’s HOPE Pantry has also seen an increase in use this year, from 60 students per month in the 2008-2009 school year to 120 students per month this academic year. By opening its own food pantry, UVU hopes to decrease hunger and increase healthy eating choices among its student population.

The pantry is located in the Losee Student Success Center, Room 205, and is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. To benefit from the pantry, students must be taking at least six credit hours at UVU and be able to show valid student identification. Upon a first visit, students must check in at the front desk and fill out an intake form. Dependents and spouses of students may also benefit from the services offered. For more information, please contact SuHyen Perez at (801) 863-5335 or americorpsvista@uvu.edu.

Friday’s ribbon-cutting will take place at 11:30 a.m. in the Losee Student Success Center, room 205. Those wishing to donate to UVU’s food pantry can do so through Community Action Services Food Bank at (801) 373-8200 or through the organization’s location at 815 S. Freedom Blvd. in Provo. More information is available at http://www.communityactionprovo.org.

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