UNR food pantry offers more food choices for students in need
RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Four years ago, when we first visited UNR’s food pantry called Wolf Pack Provisions, it was quite literally a pantry. A lot of dry goods and canned food were available to students who could not afford to feed themselves.
That need has not changed, as is reflected in the Wolf Pack Provisions expanded space in the Center for Student Engagement.
Each day there are paper sacks filled with food items waiting to be picked up. This service started when COVID hit, and students and faculty ordered on-line.
When staff and volunteers were allowed back on campus last fall, the food pantry noticed a big increase in demand—serving 4,000 students who are food insecure.
“Ultimately if you have good nutrition your stomach is full, you are not going to drop out of school,” says Hanin Abboud Rodriguez with Wolf Pack Provisions. “You are going to succeed in classes, you are going to finish every semester and you are going to graduate. That is the ultimate goal,” she says.
Abboud Rodriquez says they get help from Catholic Charities and the Northern Nevada Food Bank.
But some recent partnerships have made for more rounded food choices for students and faculty.
Wolf Pack Meats delivers 152 pounds of ground beef weekly to the food bank. It’s stored in the freezer at the pantry.
But another partnership has meant there are fresh fruits and vegetables in the cooler courtesy of the Desert Faming Initiative.
“Targeted toward students with really busy lifestyles, limited access to kitchens, and limited funds,” says Jill Moe with the Desert Faming Initiative. “So, that can include baby carrots, or a mix of greens we call Ramon toppers they can put on a quick meal of noodles. And get students more nutritious meals on a regular basis,” she says.
Last year alone Moe says the DFI donated 1500 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables to Wolf Pack Provisions. It too is delivered once a week.
While volunteers help fulfill orders to students who need food, Abboud Rodriguez says she can’t wait for the time students can return to the food pantry.
She says they will be able to select what they need, talk about what they think, and find out what other services are available to them like the State Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.
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