Feed the Pack food pantry has remained open for NC State students, faculty and staff this semester, despite classes switching to online delivery and on-campus housing closing as of Sept. 7. According to Rose Krebs, a fourth-year studying microbiology and the executive director of Feed the Pack, the pantry has received 37,000 pounds of food and has given out 72,000 pounds of food this year.
The numbers from 2020 contrast to those in 2019, Krebs stated, with the pantry receiving 50,000 pounds of food and gave out 41,000 pounds of food in 2019.
According to Krebs, Feed the Pack received more donations in March than they have recently. The pantry often purchases food to make up for lacking donations and increased demand.
Krebs also said that the instability brought on by the pandemic has caused more people to utilize the pantry than in years past. Last year, the pantry had 3,900 visits compared to 5,400 visits in 2020.
“We rely a lot on donations of food, so we haven’t had as many people coming in donating food,” Kreb said. “Especially with all the campus orgs being off campus and online and virtual, it’s been hard for them to host food drives, at least in the traditional sense.”
Krebs also said Feed the Pack is working with other organizations to continue to provide for the NC State community.
“We’ve been working with our off-campus partners to bring in and provide what we aren’t getting in donations,” Krebs said. “We partner with the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, and we get a lot of food, especially produce, from them as well.”
The pantry has been operating as normal for the most part, but a few changes have been made since the start of this year, including providing fresh produce and frozen bread since March, according to Krebs.
Cameron Morris, a second-year studying electrical engineering, is the brand coordinator for Feed the Pack. His role within Feed the Pack is to run the website, create the monthly newsletters and update the Amazon wishlist.
“We’re doing something different this year with Pack the Shelves, where we’re asking for monetary donations,” Morris said. “We’re essentially creating different lists so you can see the exact food your donations buys for the food pantry.”
Morris is working alongside Sarah Hartsell, a third-year studying history and English and the food donation coordinator, in order to accomplish this. The pantry has been able to keep up with the increasing amount of individuals utilizing it thanks to volunteers, according to Morris.
“The volunteer numbers have been pretty good,” Morris said. “We usually have 150 volunteers. We’re still hovering around 150 when you factor in faculty and staff. We have extra shifts now because we have to package and process produce.”
Feed the Pack pantry is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 12-6 p.m. All you need to do in order to utilize this resource is show up during open hours with your campus ID. Sign up to receive updates about the Feed the Pack pantry here.
Other ways students can get involved with Feed the Pack is by filling out the volunteer interest form to be notified when volunteer shifts are available. Students can also host a food drive or contribute via the Amazon wishlist.
Students who are seeking more resources or support should visit the Pack Essentials website.