2021 marks the 10th anniversay of SHOP (Students Helping Our Peers), the food pantry on Iowa State's campus. Over the last decade, SHOP has provided food and personal care items to thousands of Iowa State University students, faculty and staff in need. Since being established in 2011, the students and staff running SHOP have worked with various departments at Iowa State, ISU Government of the Student Body and the Ames community to promote food security and help those in need of food assistance.
Students in the original SHOP (Students Helping Our Peers) food pantry location
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the lack of access to food and personal care items and many found themselves facing unimaginable choices between food and other expenses, such as rent or materials needed for classes. In April 2020, the Division of Student Affairs opened a temporary food pantry in the Union Drive Community Center, distributing fresh breads, produce, meat, dairy and self-stable products to up to 150 students daily. By the end of summer 2020, the food pantry served almost 3,300 students and provided 15,600 bags of groceries to those experiencing food insecurity.
Shortly after the temporary food pantry opened, the ISU Food Pantry Support Fund was created to help provide essential grocery items to students and support the food pantry at Iowa State. SHOP, reopened in fall 2020 and has provided thousands of pounds of food to the campus community. SHOP serves a critical role in providing food security to students, and in the future, they hope to expand their services and offer additional items. In order to meet increased need and continue to provide food security for Cyclones, SHOP has moved to a new location in Beyer Hall, which will allow for more space and storage for food, including frozen and fresh items with the addition of refrigerators and a freezer, and personal care items. The new location will help ensure that SHOP can provide needed assistance to ISU students, faculty and staff in need. As SHOP continues to serve more people and offer additional items, new infrastructure needs such as refrigerator and freezer units and updated inventory and ordering technology will be essential.
The new SHOP food pantry in Beyer Hall
These on-campus food pantries and additional resources, such as the Give a Swipe Program and the campus Food Security Workgroup (led by Student Wellness) work together to continue efforts toward a campus where all students are food secure -and the need has never been greater. National data indicates that one third of college students are food and/or housing insecure, and data from the 2019 implementation of the National College Health Association (NCHA) on ISU’s campus indicates 24% of ISU students are food insecure. While the impact over the last year and a half has been tremendous, there are many still in need. In honor of the 10th anniversary of SHOP, we hope you’ll consider a gift to the ISU Food Pantry Support Fund to help on-campus food pantries serve the Iowa State community and provide essential food and personal care items to thosed in need. Uncertainty lies ahead for many and your support means more than ever. Together, we will work to ensure food security for all Cyclones!
Other ways to make your gift:
Checks can be made payable to ISU Foundation and mailed to:
PO Box 2230
Ames, IA 50010
Iowa State University employees may use a printable payroll deduct form that can be mailed or returned to:
PO Box 2230
Ames, IA 50010
If you have questions, or would like to discuss your gift with an ISU Foundation staff member, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 515-294-8536.