As stores across the country have sold out of food and basic necessities due to panic around COVID-19, hunger and access to essential items is a growing concern. The Cal Poly Food Pantry has is still open to all students, staff and faculty who may be struggling during this time.
“We want to ensure that our whole campus has access to food during these [times],” Health Education Assistant Kimme Huntington wrote in an email to Mustang News.
Although the food pantry is a resource for those affiliated with Cal Poly, it is also a resource for anyone in the community who is food insecure, Huntington wrote. Staff at the food pantry have seen a decrease in its utilization with less students on campus, according to Huntington.
However, staff continue to maintain stock while abiding by guidelines set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For example, staff practice social distancing and frequently sanitize surfaces.
“We are running very routinely, with some procedural guidelines set in place for the health and safety of users and our staff,” Huntington wrote.
Huntington wrote that those who visit the pantry should be healthy without fever or any symptoms. Disposable face mask coverings will also be provided for those who do not have their own.
The food pantry offers a wide variety of items such as cereal, soups, nut butters, beans and rice. Their inventory also includes a fridge stocked with fresh produce that comes from the San Luis Obispo Food Bank and Cal Poly Garden.
Huntington wrote that some items in the food pantry also come from donations.
“We are always seeking donations, as the pantry relies on generous donors to keep running,” Huntington wrote.
The food pantry is located on the lower level of the Health Center and is currently open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Donations can be dropped off during these hours or can be made online through their website.