UToledo Food Pantry Receives USDA Grant: Free Produce Available for Students, Employees

June 25, 2020 | News, UToday
By Vicki L. Kroll

The University of Toledo Student Food Pantry is receiving 1,000 pounds of free fruits and vegetables each week through 2020 thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Apples, oranges, carrots and celery valued at $2,800 are delivered weekly through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program, also known as the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, according to Benjamin R. Weiner, coordinator of student advocacy.

The UToledo Student Food Pantry is receiving 1,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables weekly through the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

“We are extremely grateful for this grant. Our goal has always been to continue to improve the human condition by addressing the food insecurities within our community,” Weiner said. “Our hope is that this grant will continue to support our Rocket family through an extremely difficult time.”

Students, staff and faculty will need to provide their Rocket ID number, as well as their address, phone number and household size.

“That data will help us better understand food insecurity at UToledo,” Weiner said.

The Student Food Pantry is located in Thompson Student Union Room 2504 and is open Monday through Friday from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We ask that you please wear a face cover; if you do not have one, we are able to provide you a disposable face cover,” Weiner said. “We only allow one person in the pantry per visit and are strictly encouraging the social distancing guidelines in place for community members waiting in line.”

“We are here to support each and every Rocket,” said Dr. Sammy Spann, associate vice president and dean of students. “Every little bit counts, and this grant shows us we can continue to create positive change for our community.”

Weiner said students are utilizing the USDA grant so much, the University has gone from 500 pounds to 1,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables weekly.

In addition to this grant, students also benefit from a meal recovery program called Rocket Fuel, which is designed to offer meals and reduce food waste from catered events on campus. Students can sign up through InvoNet by searching Meal Alert and receive a text notification when food is ready.

For more information on the USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, Rocket Fuel or the Student Food Pantry, visit the Office of Student Advocacy and Support website.

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