The Food Pantry at Iowa started after a group of University of Iowa students saw a need that needed to be met:  fellow college students and peers at the University of Iowa  were going hungry, unable to pay for the basic necessities to survive and attend college at the same time.  In response to this growing hunger issue,  a group of passionate and motivated undergraduate students ranging from college sophomores-seniors banded together to form the Food Pantry Steering Committee. The Food Pantry Steering Committee laid the ground work for establishing the Food Pantry at Iowa, including collecting basic statistics on food insecurity at the University of Iowa, finding a place to house the food pantry, garnering funding and support, clarifying logistical issues and much more. After a full year of hard work and persistence, the Food Pantry at Iowa was successfully established at the Iowa Memorial Union(IMU). The Food Pantry at Iowa was first opened to University of Iowa students, faculty and staff at the beginning of the Fall 2016 semester. 

 Some members of the food pantry steering committee team with faculty mentor Rebecca Sievers. Left to right: Ben Marks, Bridget Frosenca, Rebecca Sievers, Eric Pillar, Andrew Hirst. 

The Food Pantry at Iowa firmly believes that food is a basic human right and everyone has a right to a healthy and nutritious meal. Food accessibility and affordability is very important in order for college students to survive, maintain a healthy lifestyle and to concentrate in classes. We believe that no University of Iowa student, faculty or staff member should have to go hungry or sacrifice a healthy diet because of lack of food affordability and accessibility. 

 Food Pantry at Iowa Founding Executive Team (Left to right: Ben Marks, Sydney Hofferber, Aparna Ajjarapu, Sarah Ingwersen) 

The Food Pantry at Iowa aims to not only provide resources for food insecure college students, faculty and staff but also aims to raise awareness about the important issue of college food insecurity and the stigma behind it. We aim to raise awareness by hosting hunger awareness events throughout the year like food drives, hunger banquets, hunger-dialogues, discussions with food insecurity experts, cooking demos and much more. We hope our services will build a supportive community amongst our fellow hawks and foster a healthy and inclusive environment at the University of Iowa.