Winter is here, and with the effects of the pandemic in full force, students can receive free food, shampoo, hand sanitizer and other essential items from the Pantry.
Through The Pantry essential items — such as food and personal hygiene products — are available this winter quarter by appointment or delivery.
Although some items dwindled in stock last spring, the task of accommodating students’ dietary and hygienic needs has been a relatively brisk process, according to student Pantry Assistant Lakeisha Morris.
“The Pantry adjusted pretty quickly when the pandemic hit, now we’re just adjusting to how demand [for certain items] has changed,” Morris said.
She explained further, noting that last spring the scarcity of essential products, such as toilet paper, temporarily diminished their ability to serve students.
“As a result of that, we ended up ordering a lot of toilet paper as soon as it was easily available, so we have lots in stock still,” she said.
In addition to students’ option to pick up orders the Pantry has also put together a contactless delivery system with the help of staff and faculty volunteers.
According to Morris, a few weeks before a quarter starts the Pantry’s supervisor, Nedralani Mailo, contacts UWT staff and faculty who may be interested in doing contactless delivery of Pantry orders to students’ residences.
Students may utilize the Pantry once a week. The process is as follows: students can request a bag and what items they need through a Google form about a week in advance. Volunteers will then deliver the items if the recipients are within 30 miles of campus.
Gone is the previous limit of 10 items per order. Morris said students could fit 20 items into their bags depending on the bags and items’ size.
Looking forward, Morris said that as the use of the Pantry grows, they hope to provide more essentials to students with the budget they have and also stated that the Pantry can and will continue its mission of feeding hungry students with various dietary items.
She explained that the items can range from canned food and quarts of milk to water bottles or gallon Ziploc bags of vegetables.
“Students need more aid than before because of the pandemic’s effects … More donations from the community would help make this possible, and a continuous contribution to our budget from the university would be even better, ” said Morris “The Pantry is definitely well prepared for [the] winter quarter.”
Students can utilize the Pantry’s services or donate unneeded items at https://www.tacoma.uw.edu/thepantry