The Pacer Pantry hosted its grand opening for students on Feb. 25 at its new home in Emmanuel Hall.
According to one of the pantry’s main contributors, Dr. Elizabeth McGill, the Pacer Pantry is a free resource center created to combat food insecurity within the Marywood community. The idea for the pantry was conceived by a group of constituents across campus who collaborated on how to address the needs of students.
According to McGill, the pantry offers an array of personal hygiene care items such as cleaning items and toiletries, as well as food items that are quick for “on the go” students. In the coming semesters, McGill is hoping to grow the options of the pantry even more.
“Eventually once we see what the need is, we hope to have some fresh food items at least once a month like eggs, milk, some fresh breads and of course fruits and vegetables,” said McGill.
According to an information pamphlet handed out at the opening, the pantry is stocked with items through donation as well as the Regional Food Bank through its partnership with Friends of the Poor.
With the pantry being an on the go service to students, McGill said volunteers will work at the Pacer Pantry and will be responsible for picking up donations left there, stocking the shelves and maintaining the order of the shelves.
According to McGill, in order for students to use the pantry, a card swipe system has been put in place for easier accessibility.
“Everyone that is a resident on campus should have access to the pantry through the use of their card automatically and all commuter students and staff members need to get access through the I.D. office in Madonna [Hall],” said McGill.
According to McGill, the community seemed receptive to the pantry with faculty and staff stopping in and out throughout the day.
“Today we were just hoping for people to come by, check out the pantry and see what we’re all about,” said McGill.
Freshman Environmental Science Major Juan Cardenas wasn’t able to attend the Pacer Pantry’s opening, but plans to utilize it’s resources.
“I had classes most of the day, so I couldn’t go but I think its an awesome idea and I plan on visiting in the next week,” said Cardenas.
Cardenas said that while the concept of the pantry is great, he hopes that it can expand its offerings for members of the Marywood community in need.
“I feel like it would be cool if they have school supplies because it can get pretty expensive to buy everything at the beginning of the semester and some people just can’t afford it,” said Cardenas.
Despite his hopes for improvement, Cardenas feels that the Pacer Pantry is a necessity for Marywood and will be used a lot.
“I feel like it can really have an impact on people who are struggling. It can provide necessities for people like me who are on the go,” said Cardenas.
The Pacer Pantry is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Fridays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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