By Jessica Stamp
The Penguin Pantry had a grand reopening March 1 at its new location in room 1405 in Cushwa Hall.
The reopening showcased shelves of pantry items which any student can take after scanning a QR code at the desk. The pantry also has shoes and business clothes such as suits and ties for students in need.
With the new location, a refrigerator and freezer which are filled with perishable items was also added.
Ali Adler, case manager for the Office of the Dean of Students, said relocating the Penguin Pantry opens its services up for more students.
“In Kilcawley Center, it kind of was like back in a corner so moving it down here, it’s more right in the first floor of Cushwa Hall so that students can kind of come in, they can see what we have,” Adler said. “It’s a little more open so we can get more traffic.”
Adler said it was not hard to find a new location because of a collaboration between Jeffery Allen, dean of Bionte College of Health and Human Sciences, and Nicole Kent-Strollo, dean of students and ombudsperson.
“Nicole Kent-Strollo met with Dean Allen who’s the dean of the Bionte College of Health and Human Sciences and they came to the agreement that [Cushwa Hall] was a good location for [the Penguin Pantry],” Adler said.
The Office of the Dean of Students took over ownership of the Penguin Pantry around the fall of 2022 from the Student Government Association because they felt students have enough to handle with their everyday schedules.
Stephanie Baker, a case manager for the Office of the Dean of Students, said it would be easier on students if the Office of the Dean of Students took over the Penguin Pantry.
“Along with Student Government, we felt that it would be better to be housed in the Office of the Dean of Students just because we’re an office that is staffed by professionals [and] we’re more readily accessible to help students when they need it rather than relying on other students who have busy lives and busy schedules,” Baker said.
Baker said being in the new location and partnership has allowed the pantry to work with dietetic and possibly nursing students to provide more education on nutrition and food.
“We talked about fashion merchandise, we’ve worked with the dietetic students already and maybe working with the nursing just to bring more options and more education to students as well when it comes to the food that they’re eating,” Baker said.
The two main ways students can get involved with the Penguin Pantry are through volunteering and donating items. Many students volunteer at the Penguin Pantry, especially students in the Honors College.
Taylor Dean, an undergraduate intern with the Office of the Dean of Students, said volunteering is a rewarding experience.
“We get to see how we can help students here and how we can give them resources that will be successful outside of the university,” Dean said.
The Penguin Pantry is open Monday through Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.