Appalachian’s food pantry was opened a year ago to faculty, staff and students. The pantry operates from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The pantry started as a rolling cart and grew to a well-organized, 75-square-foot space with wooden shelves. Soups, canned goods, cereals and peanut butter are popular items.
“We get about two or three people visiting the pantry each day and many returning visitors,” said Jen Maxwell, university sustainability project specialist in Appalachian’s Office of Sustainability. “What we’ve seen is that when people come in and realize we’re a very kind, friendly staff, this makes them feel comfortable visiting the pantry.”
The success of the food pantry depends on getting the word out, Maxwell said. Her office has tried to increase its outreach to Appalachian’s staff and has 15 students on an outreach team.