Courtesy Photo | Cal Poly Food Pantry

With finals this week, the last thing students should be worrying about is where their next meal is going to come from. To combat food insecurity at Cal Poly, the Cal Poly Food Pantry teamed up with the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County (SLO Food Bank) for the first time.

The Cal Poly Food Pantry is a service for students who need food but lack the financial means to buy it. Students who are food insecure can visit the Food Pantry in the PULSE office on the lower level of the Health Center for free food and toiletries.

Cal Poly asked to become agency partners with the SLO Food Bank to help with the high demand for products so the Food Pantry can keep running.

“We have limited funds for the Food Pantry,” Cal Poly Health Educator Christine Nelson said. “This strategic partnership with the SLO County Food Bank will allow us to purchase nutritious foods at a reduced price/low-cost to keep the shelves stocked.”

The Food Pantry was created in 2013 after faculty and staff saw an increase in the number of students going hungry without the means to purchase basic necessities.

Nelson said from September to October 2016, the pantry had 183 student visits. During the same time this year, there were 346 visits, almost double the previous number.

On Nov. 27, the SLO Food Bank made its first donation to the Food Pantry, stocking its shelves with non-perishable food and basic-need items. The Food Pantry also raised more than 60 pounds of food from the recent food drive. The next food drive will be Spring 2018. The Food Pantry is always looking for basic-need items such as toiletries and personal hygienic products as well as shelf-stable food products. They accept a wide variety of donations.

To donate to the Food Pantry, call PULSE at 805-756-6181.

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