ASI launched the Poly Pantry 2 Go, a reopening of the Poly Pantry that halted operation following the start of virtual instruction last semester. The relaunched program is a no-contact, curbside pickup service, aimed at helping students attain nutritional meals and groceries during the pandemic.
Online registration began Oct. 28 and the pick-up service will begin Nov. 4. The service is free for all current enrolled Cal Poly Pomona students who will be able to visit once a week to pick up a pre-filled grocery bag.
“I’m really glad they’re reopening,” said Bridget Macario, a fourth-year communication design student. “It’s a really important resource for so many students, including me.”
ASI Secretary of Basic Needs Rosalia Armasit is encourages students in need to use the Poly Pantry as it is funded though student fees.
“Food is something that we all need; it’s human need. It is a basic need for everybody and I think students should know that this resource is there for all of them and it was actually created from their student fees, so they shouldn’t feel ashamed or stigmatized,” Armas said.
As reported by The Poly Post, ASI allocated 14% of $2 million in savings toward the Poly Pantry. The process for its reopening fell under the guidance of ASI Care Coordinator Alyssa Christiansen, who oversees the program.
At the start of semester Cal Poly Pomona surveyed close to 6,000 students and revealed 15% of students were in need of meal assistance and ASI Vice President Manshaan Singh estimated the usage of the Poly Pantry last year was between 2,500 – 3,000 students. As Singh addressed ASI’s motivation to continue the Poly Pantry remotely, citing this survey.
“Even if it’s not representative of the entire student population, that is still about 900 students that have indicated they need meal assistance,” Singh said. “Which is already a good amount, so I think it is very important.”
With the Poly Pantry’s reopening during the ongoing pandemic there are guidelines students must meet before they use the service.
Students must complete a health screener, found under the eligibility and guideline section of the Poly Pantry website, be pre-registered for an appointed time, bring their Bronco ID card and wear a face mask. Per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, the Poly Pantry can only serve a certain number of students per appointment slot and the workers must wear personal protective gear.
Cal Fresh Outreach Student Ambassador Diana Cervantes has worked closely with Christiansen and the Poly Pantry so that students know how to utilize these campus resources.
“This is great because it’s better to reach some students than not to reach them at all,” Cervantes said. “This next step for the Poly Pantry is really great because I know we will be online next semester. So, maybe they’ll get practice, or they’ll know what they can do better or how they can promote. So, I think over time it will get better.”
Poly Pantry 2 Go pick up will be in Lot G and the pickup times are on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Fridays noon to 4 p.m.
For more information on the Poly Pantry 2 Go and basic need resources visit this CPP website.
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