Student food pantry opens at ARC


Photo Courtesy of University of Illinois

The front entrance to the Activities and Recreation Center sits open to students late in the afternoon. A student food pantry at ARC is staffed by student volunteers from the Food Science and Human Nutrition Program biweekly.

By Ethan Simmons, News Editor

A shopping-style pantry has been set up for University students at the Activities and Recreation Center.

The ARC Student Food Pantry is open twice a week, Tuesdays from 1-4 p.m. and Saturdays 2-5 p.m.

Students can find it in the back of the ARC’s instructional kitchen, next to the climbing wall. It’s staffed by students volunteers from the Food Science and Human Nutrition program.

“It is our mission to ensure that the entire Illinois community has access to nutritious food and key necessities in a welcoming and educational space,” reads the Campus Rec webpage. “We collect demographic information and a variety of other data to improve processes and ensure that it is equitable, inclusive and accessible to meet the needs of the diverse student population at Illinois.”

There are a variety of COVID-19 precautions in place at the pantry. Student patrons and volunteers must wear face masks on the premises.

Non-perishable items are sanitized with a 1:9 bleach solution, and staff wipe down the tables and chairs with bleach solution before and after the shifts begin.

“While patrons pack each bag, they will have individual single use gloves, changed after each bag is packed to minimize risk,” the page reads.

Volunteers cannot attend if they exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, headache or shortness of breath.

Only one patron is allowed in the kitchen at a time.

Community members can fill out a form on the Campus Recreation website to donate food.

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