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Frequently Asked Questions

How does the pantry work?

Clients fill out a first-time user form when coming to the pantry. MU students, staff, and faculty, as well as MU Health Care workers, can receive non-perishable food items once a month by visiting the Rock Quarry location and shopping through our grocery-style system. Clients can also have the opportunity to receive eggs, produce, bread/bagels, and swipes each week. These above services are also available at the satellite location in the MU Student Center.

Who can use the pantry?

We serve any student, faculty, or staff member of the University of Missouri including MU Health Care workers, without question or proof of income requirements. Individuals can come in monthly for a three-day emergency food supply per person in their household and weekly for produce, bread, and eggs based on availability. We’re here to get you back on your feet – in whatever way we can.

How many times can I use the pantry?

Once a month, and every week for produce, eggs, bread, and swipes. We use an online database system, in collaboration with the Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri, where the individual provides their birthdate each shift. This system checks to see if a client has already been in the pantry that month, removing the need for our former client ID cards.

When and why did the pantry start?

The pantry started in 2012 in an effort to serve students, faculty, and staff at Mizzou that self-identify as food insecure.

Where is the pantry located?

We are located on 1400 Rock Quarry Rd. Columbia, MO, an off-site location of Mizzou’s campus. We also have a satellite location in the MU Student Center.

Who runs the pantry (students, administration, both, other)?

Tiger Pantry is a student-run organization led by a Director and an executive board. We have a graduate assistant and paid staff administration member that advise the students and oversee finances and operations.

How do you staff the food pantry and what days/times of the week is the food pantry open?

We have an application-based volunteer process and selected student volunteers operate our pantry. We are open Sundays 11-2, and Tues/Wed/Thurs 4:30-6:30pm. We have at least 6-8 volunteers at each shift who serve. Hours change for holidays and breaks, see our social media and our website banners for information.

What is your average monthly food distribution?

We range anywhere from 3500 lbs. to 5000 lbs. in a month.

Where do you receive food donations?

We receive food from both drives on campus and a significant portion from the Central Missouri Food Bank which we are an auxiliary of. Many fundraisers and food drives are coordinated throughout the year in order to supply the pantry. We also receive monetary donations where we then go out and bulk purchase the food. People come in monthly for a three-day emergency food supply per person in their household and weekly for produce based on availability.

How do you market the food pantry to students because oftentimes some students may be too embarrassed to come to a food pantry?

We are constantly fighting the stigma surrounding food insecurity on campus, so we provide educational tools to encourage people to start these conversations. Clients are confidential other than when they initially sign up, and we actively work to protect that confidentiality. We market to the entire university in hopes that those who need the service will see it, and even those who don’t will be comfortable starting the conversation with someone who might.

How do you run food drives? What are some things that have worked well when it comes to drives for raising funds and food for the pantry?

We have a fundraising coordinator on our board who organizes on and off-campus food drives. We provide bins, pick up and drop off! Several organizations throughout campus use monetary donations or cans as admittance to an event or something which in return is donated to us. Reaching out to organizations and providing education to them about campus food insecurity, as well as attending their events as a pantry can really help strengthen relationships. We do numerous fundraisers throughout the summer, but getting involved in week-long events like homecoming is a great contributor. Also, we are going to start a competition between our residence halls to see who can raise the most food and they will receive a certificate. Many of our drives focus around one school/organization or maybe just a few. We place bins at their events encouraging participants to donate food.

Were there any rules and/or regulations that you had to consider before establishing the food pantry?

We reflected our rules and regulations when starting off of the Full Circle Pantry at the University of Arkansas. We have an extensive amount of regulations when it comes to the confidentiality of clients, rules with handling expired food, what time of things we can distribute (i.e. no fresh meat or dairy).