Food Pantry reopening with regular hours and new policies

Rachel Greene, Editor-in-chief

 

The Western Illinois University Food Pantry, which has been operating under very restricted hours due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, reopened with its normal hours of noon to 5 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.

Over the summer, the Food Pantry was forced to operate under irregular hours that were posted weekly on various social media pages. In accordance with University policies, the Food Pantry will continue to require social distancing and masks as well as implementing proper cleaning protocols. “We are working hard to make sure all who are in need on campus can get food and other resources that we offer. These are unprecedented times, and many are in need more than ever. We will be open to serve regardless of the situation, and will do so in a safe way and maintain a clean and healthy environment for our patrons and volunteers,” said Western Illinois University Food Pantry Student President Casey Hendrickson.

The Food Pantry, which provides free food to any student and operates under the motto “Students Feeding Students,” is located in what was formerly the ticket booth at the South entrance of Hanson Field, down the hill from the University Union. In addition to mandated social distancing and masks, the pantry is also limiting the amount of volunteers who are present at any given time. All volunteers will also be required to wear gloves. Patrons of the pantry, as well as volunteers, will have hand sanitizer available to them.

In an effort to reduce any chance of health risks or spread of the virus, “We have also implemented a ‘Contactless Experience’ while visiting the Pantry. The volunteers will hand the food out through the windows that the patrons choose from a list posted outside the pantry, and will not have any contact with the patrons outside. The windows also provide extra protection for our patrons and volunteers,” said Hendrickson.  

Students must present a valid Western Illinois University Student Identification Card in order to take advantage of the Food Pantry. For more information, contact Casey Hendrickson at CV-Hendrickson@wiu.edu or Emily Shupe at ER-Shupe@wiu.edu.