This student-run operation gives three days worth of food to members of the UA Little Rock community in need. It is run by Whitney Bradford and Courtney Griggs, who are both graduate students pursuing degrees in social work.
Students, faculty, and staff can request food by filling out the request forms in person or on the pantry’s website. Volunteers fill reusable shopping bags with the items on the request form and the bags are available when the pantry opens.
“If we don’t by chance have those items, because we do run out of stuff every now and then, or if we get new things we try to do our best to give them options and not just say ‘Sorry, we don’t have this,’” Whitney said.
The Food Pantry is completely confidential and the names of the requests are not published in any way or listed on the bags. Volunteers use the last five digits of each applicants’ Trojan ID number to verify identities.
The Trojan food pantry is funded by the Windgate Foundation grant through the Arkansas Food Bank and the UALR Foundation. Food donations can be dropped off at the pantry, the Community Connection Center in the University Plaza, or at one of the eight barrels around campus. Monetary donations are accepted as well.
“Faculty and staff, on their paycheck they can actually have an amount deducted from their paycheck that goes toward the food pantry,” said Whitney.
The pantry first opened on Feb. 4, 2016. Since then, it has serviced 3,069 individuals, at an average of about 30-50 individuals per week. Those figures include the UA Little Rock community members who use the pantry and their families.
The pantry is located in the Donaghey Student Center, near the field house, and is open every Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.