WSU’s Weber Cares Pantry reopens Sep. 8 with a new virtual system and procedures for cleaning.
The Weber Cares Pantry is a food-assistance service that gives out non-perishable goods to anyone with an active W number. However, the food pantry is only offering online ordering this semester.
“Students will go to our website and put in their online order for the pantry,” said Teresa Martinez, Student Engagement Coordinator at the Center for Community Engaged Learning.
The online-ordering system allows users to see all the available items in the pantry for that day. Students can then select up to ten items per bag to check out. Martinez said students can still fill up to two bags of food a week.
The system also asks users a series of optional questions for the pantry’s data.
“These questions help us understand how we can better service our students, in terms of what types of food to provide,” Martinez said. “We’ll also be giving the option, if they don’t see anything in their online ordering that they would like to see in the pantry, to provide feedback. They can also specify any dietary needs.”
Martinez said she and the CCEL staff want to make the pantry as accessible as possible; however, students cannot walk up to the pantry and grab food. The pantry will help students who show up in person fill out a form so they can pick up food at a later date.
“This is just our way of keeping things safe and distant,” Martinez said.
Pickups will still be on the fourth floor of the Shepherd Union building. The center will contact students to confirm if such a meeting is possible. If not, the pantry will work to find other options.
Same-day pick up is not an option this semester.
“Our office right now is very understaffed, and we want to make sure we meet the needs of everybody, so our best way to do that is get the order ready the day of and set a later-day pickup,” said Martinez.
Orders placed on Monday will, more than likely, be available Tuesday. Those who place orders on Friday will not be able to get their order until Monday. Pickups will be available anytime during the day until 5 p.m.
“If there are emergency food needs, we have the ability to provide our food voucher system, which is a $10 voucher to any of the food locations in the Union,” Martinez said.
Donations are still welcome as long as they are non-perishable items. Those who would like to donate should call or email the center beforehand to coordinate the pickup. All donations will be put in a separate room for 24 hours before being stocked in the pantry.
Monetary donations will also be accepted, and can be given through the website.