Penguin Pantry grows in demand

Abigail Milton, freshman pre-nursing major, restocks the Penguin Pantry shelves due to a rise in the number of students needing canned goods and personal hygiene products.

By Jessica Stamp

Students in need of groceries and other supplies can visit the Penguin Pantry on the second floor of Kilcawley Center. With the pandemic causing a strain on resources, the Penguin Pantry is looking for donations to help restock its shelves to aid more students in need. 

Michael Cline, Student Government Association vice president for Assessment and Enrichment, said with the pandemic and students returning to campus, there has been an increase in students using the Penguin Pantry.

“We had a huge influx of users in the pantry,” Cline said. “However, due to that, we have run low on a lot of supplies.”

The most requested items for the Penguin Pantry are can openers, men’s deodorant and microwavable foods such as ramen or macaroni and cheese cups. 

“We do have a list of items that we are looking for currently,” Cline said. “We’re actually out of a lot of staples.”

Students can request any amount of items and visit the Penguin Pantry as often as they need to. 

“They can request as many times as they’d like, whether it’s a student who uses the pantry weekly or a student who just needs the help for one day,” Cline said. “Any student can use it at any point no matter what. We don’t look at anything regarding their status or anything of that nature.”

There are several different ways students can request items. One way is through a QR code located on the Penguin Pantry desk. Simply scan the code and it will take the user to a Microsoft document to fill out. Another way to access the document is on the SGA website, under the resources tab in the upper right corner.

The pantry is open 10-12 hours a week. It employs one part-time staff member and a volunteer.

Abigail Milton, a freshman pre-nursing major, wanted to get involved by helping students and decided to work at the pantry. 

“Whenever they were looking for an employee, I wanted to jump on it,” Milton said. “I wanted to be as involved in it as possible.”

Milton started working about three weeks ago and within those weeks has seen an increase of students using the Penguin Pantry.

“It’s definitely starting to pick up right now. We’re getting probably about a dozen orders a week,” Milton said. 

As of Nov. 4, 92 students have used the Penguin Pantry this semester. In the spring 2021 semester, a total of 109 students used the Penguin Pantry. 

SGA’s most-requested items for the Penguin Pantry are:

  • Pasta and sauce
  • Ramen
  • Mac and cheese instant cups 
  • Rice
  • Canned tuna, chicken and Spam
  • Pop-Tarts 
  • Instant oatmeal 
  • Fruit cups 
  • Peanut butter 
  • Pudding cups 
  • Canned spaghetti 
  • Canned ravioli 
  • Canned beefaroni
  • Nutri-Grain bars 
  • Can openers 
  • Men’s deodorant 
  • Toilet paper 
  • Dish soap

The Penguin Pantry is open to all students in need of anything from food to personal hygiene products. 

For any students interested in the Penguin Pantry, its hours are: 

  • Monday: 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., 2 –4 p.m. 
  • Tuesday: 1–4 p.m. 
  • Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 
  • Thursday: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. 
  • Friday: 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.