Union Increases Amount of Food Drives For End of Semester


Sophie Felici

The Feed U Pantry in the A. Ray Olpin Student Union on Wednesday Nov. 3, 2022. (Photo by Sophie Felici | The Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Allison Stuart, News Writer


In order to prepare for the winter rush of food insecurity, the Union Programming Council has finished the first of many food drives. The food received will go to the Feed U Pantry, which is located in the A. Ray Olpin Student Union building.

Ashton Pelley, the Feed U Pantry director, works with the volunteers and board of the pantry to organize a variety of food drives that will happen every week until the end of the fall semester.

“Hopefully we’ll continue on in the spring semester,” she said. 

In the first month the pantry opened, October 2014, they served three students and gave away a total of 60 pounds of food, according to Pelley. In October 2022, they served 478 students, faculty and staff and gave away a total of 4,875 pounds of food.

The most popular items the pantry stocks include peanut butter, ramen and canned goods, among many others. They also stock personal care items such as feminine hygiene products and condoms. There are several bins around campus that collect donations for the food pantry, such as canned goods, toiletries, grains and more.

Pelley encouraged people to donate what they can. “We are more than happy to accept direct donations,” she said.

Per the food pantry’s website, there is a guide to refer to if you are thinking about donating, as well as a link to a monetary donation location.

Rebecca Hoyt, associate executive director for the Feed U Pantry, said the pantry is a free food resource for anyone with a U card at the U.

“So that includes staff, faculty and of course students,” she said. “We are located in the basement of the Union.” 

Hoyt explained that the increase in food drives has come from the anticipated need in the winter months and the increased number of users of the resource.  

“Unfortunately, we haven’t seen a very big increase in donations,” she said. “So we are running a lot more food drives this year than we have in the past.”

The current food drive that is running is in partnership with the Student Alumni Board. Their online fundraiser which runs until Nov. 12 can be found here.

Hoyt said the Feed U Pantry is here to serve the entirety of the student body and anyone on campus.

There are a couple of different events hosted by the Feed U Pantry including Zoom Cooking Hours. Students sign up for an ingredient kit, where everything they need to make the recipe can be found inside. Then, they join a Zoom meeting, where they are walked through the recipe to make something delicious.

On the Nov. 3 Zoom Cooking Hour, U President Taylor Randall and his wife taught how to make two meals, chicken noodle soup and chicken enchiladas.

Hoyt said they’re trying to do cooking hours with other student groups through the union and all over campus.

“We’d like to include some cultural recipes, perhaps, and maybe some things that people haven’t really heard of in the future,” she said.

Feed U Pantry drop-off locations include the Student Union, Alumni House, Student Life Center, John R. Park Building, Red Butte Gardens, Utah Museum of Fine Arts and the Marriott Library.

Feed U Pantry has several other upcoming food drives include at the following colleges on campus:

Alumni Association: Oct. 29-Nov. 12

School of Business: Nov. 13-19

Honors College: Nov. 27-Dec. 10 (Hygiene Drive)

College of Science: Dec. 5-9


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