Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
1. How did you come up with the name of your food pantry?
We wanted to incorporate the aspect of students helping students. Thus, Students Helping Our Peers (The SHOP) fit perfectly.
2. Where did your initial funding come from?
Funding primarily came from ISU’s Government of the Student Body (GSB). Additional aid came from unused student dining dollars and a few donations as well.
3. What hardships/road blocks did you run into throughout the start-up process?
Our biggest challenge was finding a room to set up our food pantry. We wanted a central location on campus, but room selections were very limited. The Food Sciences Building room 2616 is currently home to The SHOP.
4. What is The SHOP’s purpose on campus?
The SHOP serves as a food pantry for all ISU students and staff in order to ensure food security. We are a great resource for immediate food assistance.
5. How does someone go about receiving food?
During our regular hours of operation, any ISU student or staff/faculty member can stop by and take whatever he/she may need. There is no limit to the amount of food an individual can take or how often he/she can use the food pantry.
6. What type of food does The SHOP offer? Does your food pantry give away toiletries?
We provide non-perishable food items such as pasta, ready-to-eat meals, canned fruits and vegetables, etc. as well as household items such as cleaning products and personal care items. We encourage personal care items and other household items such as dish detergent, soap, paper towels, toothbrushes, etc. to be donated because they are popular items among students.
7. Do you provide food for students only?
No, Iowa State staff/faculty members are encouraged to access The SHOP as well.
8. Is it required that students live on campus in order to receive food or can they be commuters?
No, our only requirement is that they are Iowa State students. We simply need to see a flash of a student ID to determine this.
9. Do you require students to have a meal plan to receive food?
Any ISU student, regardless of whether or not they have a meal plan, can use The SHOP.
10. Do students need to demonstrate need in order to use The SHOP?
No, we don’t require an application nor do students have to meet special criteria in order to utilize our services.
11. Do you maintain student confidentiality?
Absolutely. We don’t keep any records of individuals (by name) who use the food pantry. We simply keep track of the number of people who use The SHOP.
12. How many people come to the SHOP in a typical week?
We serve about 10 people each week and have seen a steady increase in the number of people using The SHOP since we opened in January 2011. We estimate that we serve approximately 30 students each month.
13. How many volunteers are currently involved with The SHOP?
We currently have about 120 students who regularly volunteer with The SHOP.
14. How can students get involved with The SHOP?
Students can get involved in volunteering by going to the Student Organizations webpage (https://sodb-stuorg.sws.iastate.edu/), choosing “Service and Volunteerism,” and selecting “Students Helping Our Peers.” Click this link: https://sodb-stuorg.sws.iastate.edu/view.php?id=1742. Select “Request to Join” or simply e-mail one of the executive board members. Students can also get involved by donating non-perishable food or toiletry items throughout the year.
15. How can you donate to The SHOP? Who do you typically receive donations from?
Donations can dropped off at our pantry location (Food Sciences Building room 2616) during regular hours of operation or at the Food Science and Human Nutrition main office (Food Sciences Building room 2312). Most of our donations are graciously given to us from other campus clubs/organizations who hold their own food drives. After their event, they donate their collections to us.
16. Does your food pantry operate over summer, winter break, or other holidays?
The SHOP is not open during university holidays or breaks. However, staff in the Food Science and Human Nutrition main office (Food Sciences Building room 2312) have access to the pantry so they can open it upon request.
17. Why types of marketing do you engage in?
In order to reach out to ISU students and staff/faculty members, we utilize the following marketing techniques: mass e-mails to all ISU students, flyers posted around campus, The SHOP Facebook page, display booths at various promotional events on campus, SHOP t-shirts & buttons, etc.