Facing Food Insecurity? There’s Help!

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Picture from the City of Dacono | Volunteers at Weld Food bank set up a mobile food pantry event, loading and setting up tables and carts.

The Bear Pantry has partnered with the Weld Food Bank to bring the mobile food pantry to the University of Northern Colorado.

​The mobile food pantry is a food truck that travels to 16 distribution sites over Weld County. The truck is a refrigerated beverage truck that delivers dairy, meat, fresh produce and dry goods. At UNC, the truck sits in the southeast corner of C-Lot and has made three stops throughout the semester. There were no mobile events in the spring semester, but they will return in fall 2024. During the hours of the mobile food pantry, the Bear Pantry in the Campus Commons will be closed and students will get food for free.

​This event is focused on making sure the UNC community has enough food and doesn’t go hungry. The mobile food pantry will give out meat, produce, dairy and much more to all students who attend. 

The Bear Pantry is an initiative to help students and faculty who are facing food insecurity. Their goal is to minimize food insecurity among the UNC community. 

The Bear Pantry is located on the second floor of the University Center and is open from 2 to 6 p.m. on Mondays, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays. 

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UNC students and staff are able to go to the Bear Pantry once a week and get up to seven free items. The Bear Pantry includes perishables, non-perishables and hygiene products. 

A student who uses Bear Pantry, who wanted to remain anonymous, explained why they find using the Bear Pantry easy and a helpful tool. 

“I started using Bear Pantry my freshman year,” they said. “It really helps to not be worried about food. Not worrying about where my next meal will come from allows me to focus more on my classes.” 

The Bear Pantry also allows clubs, organizations and teams to host drives to collect food for the pantry. Drives can collect food items, personal hygiene items and baby supplies for the pantry. 

Both the Weld Food Bank and Bear Pantry are looking for volunteers. The Bear Pantry volunteers are needed all year and the hours are flexible with student class schedules. Bear Pantry is looking for people who are passionate and excited to help UNC’s community. 

Volunteering at the Weld Food Bank can be done through their website. Volunteers can work in the evenings, weekends and events, such as the mobile food pantry. Volunteers set their own schedule on the website at any amount of hours. 

Rosario Aquez, a volunteer at the Weld Food Bank, explained what volunteers are expected to do. 

“In my opinion, the people who volunteer have always been helpful people,” she said. “They help load off the food and help serve. They help take food to peoples’ cars. People who volunteer are very important.”

Donations can be made at Bear Pantry or at the donation boxes around campus. Donations to the Weld Food Bank can be made at 1108 H Street, Greeley, CO, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Students struggling with food insecurity or other stressors, can contact the Dean of Students or the Bear Pantry for directly for help.

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