Our healthy campus food pantry
By: Sylvia Rani
Every month, the Nutritious U Food Pantry makes food purchased from a local food bank available to all University of Minnesota students. Student-run, the pantry does not require students to submit proof of need, and students can choose between a variety of fresh produce and grains. Given that one-sixth of University of Minnesota students report that they are worried about food running out before they can afford more, the food pantry provides a quick and reliable way to reduce this food insecurity. Access to nutritious food in particular can be a challenge for students who are always on the go, which is why over half of the weight of food distributed by Nutritious U is fresh produce.
The food pantry is located on the second floor of Coffman Memorial Union. For produce, students can choose to take up to two vegetables and three fruits, with options such as carrots, celery, kale, apples, and pears. The food pantry’s website notes that they currently purchase every item of fresh produce available from the food bank, which is why some of the same foods appear every month. Students are then given the option to choose a grain and a protein, with options including egg noodles, rice, canned tuna, and pinto beans.
“Nutritious U will provide healthy food to as many food insecure UMN-TC students as possible each month, in an amount that allows them to have enough food in the months they visit the food pantry, when combined with the food they get in other ways,” junior Macie Rasmussen, a member of the program’s leadership team, said. “Nutrition is a particular issue of mine, and more than anything, I enjoy the pantry's mantra of ‘students helping students.’”
The next Nutritious U event will be held on November 27, 28, and 29, and it will be open from noon to 6 p.m. on all three days.