Patriot Pantry serves record number of students, donations still needed – University Life

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The Patriot Pantry is a trusted resource for George Mason students facing food insecurity. What began as a basic Pop-Up Pantry in 2014 was later transformed into a larger pantry in SUB 1 staffed by undergraduates and overseen by professional SSAC staff. The pantry’s name was changed to Patriot Pantry when it became an official service of the Student Support and Advocacy Center (SSAC) in 2016. Enrolled students face food insecurity and additional financial hardship have free access to non-perishable food and hygiene items, up to once a week. Thanks to increased awareness of its services and factors that may have affected students such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the Patriot Pantry has seen a significant increase in the number of student users over the past two years. During the fall semester of 2021, 306 individual users accessed the service and 619 orders were fulfilled. In contrast, during the fall 2020 semester, 134 users accessed the pantry and 140 orders were fulfilled.

The Patriot Pantry uses a contactless ordering and pickup system where students place orders using the online order form and the orders are fulfilled by Patriot Pantry staff within the week. In order to stay supplied and provide necessary service to Mason students, the Patriot Pantry relies on generous donations from George Mason and the communities of Fairfax and Northern Virginia. The Patriot Pantry is accepting donations through the Amazon Wish Listin person (deposit at the pantry) or monetarily through the Food insecurity fund and student housing. A list of necessary items can be found on the SSAC Patriot Pantry Donation Page. Registered students wishing to access pantry services must complete the Support request form.

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