By KHAMIA CARTER & LYNDSAY MACH, Reporters
MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) — Western Illinois University’s campus community is encouraged to visit the WIU Food Pantry.
The pantry opened in March of 2018 to serve students, faculty and staff.
“We noticed that there is so much food insecurity that’s not being talked about,” Davora Buchanan, WIU Food Pantry co-president, said.
The pantry also provides toiletries, household supplies, school supplies and cookbooks for meal prep.
“What we do at the pantry is that we don’t want anybody to be uncomfortable or feel like they can’t ask for food,” Buchanan said.
The food pantry has a variety of options to choose from, including breakfast snacks, chips, canned food, dry meals, pasta, waters, milk and occasionally produce.
There are also different sections for non-GMO, non-dairy, vegan and specific allergies.
Buchanan said the pantry has been especially beneficial for the community during the time of COVID-19.
“A lot of people that are online are saving a little bit more money from those classes and they are able to buy groceries, but they still need just that little push of help,” Buchanan said.
The food pantry recently relocated from WIU’s Hanson Field to Horrabin Hall to expand what the pantry has to offer. The food pantry is overseen by Associate Professor of Kinesiology Emily Shupe and Alumni Program’s Office Manager Carrie Lowderman.
“This gives us the opportunity to be closer, inside, by a bus source where people can take their groceries on the bus and don’t have to walk that far,” Buchanan said. “We just want to change the whole dynamic of going to a food pantry because it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Local food banks, companies and community organizations donate to the food pantry. During the hours the pantry is closed, food is also distributed from tables outside Horrabin Hall room 10, including breakfast items and snacks for food on the go.
It is located in Horrabin Hall, room 10, and to view a list of foods available at the Macomb campus site, visit the food pantry website at wiu-food-pantry-macomb.site123.me.