The SAAC officers charged intercollegiate athletics coaches and support staff to contribute 500 non-perishable food items, such as canned fruit and vegetables, soups, cereal, pasta and rice. The department doubled that target goal, with plans on running other “Stock The Pantry” drives throughout the year. Michelle Roppeau, UC Davis’ director of athletic academic advising and SAAC advisor, organized the effort.
Roman Rivilis, an ASUCD Senator for 2015-16, greatly appreciated the gesture when six Aggie student-athletes — SAAC officers Danielle Steffen (track & field), Agustina Singh (field hockey), Alec Adamson (tennis) and Frederique Sleiffer (tennis); plus football players Dan Plum and Liam Godfrey — arrived at The Pantry window on Wednesday afternoon, each hauling boxes upon boxes of food items.
“This means the world to us,” said Rivilis. “It’s always a pleasure to see students from different communities on campus come together in a shared experience that we all face as students. We’ve all had the experience of going hungry at one point or another. It’s very meaningful and thoughtful when we’re all advocating for the effort of reforming that for the betterment of the UC Davis student body.”
Located in the basement hallways of Lower Freeborn, The Pantry was established to address the increasing financial burden on today’s college students. Any student presenting a valid UC Davis ID card may receive to three “points” worth of items per day. The point system is based on the “meal worth” of any given item. The staff does not record any personal information, and seeks to maintain anonymity for those who use their services. Furthermore, The Pantry runs on the honor system: that is, there is no requirement for students to qualify for the organization’s services.
“Our hope with The Pantry project is to create a campus-wide commitment to battle food insecurity on college campuses, specifically UC Davis,” Rivilis said. “There is still a lot of work to be done in regards to food insecurity nationwide, but there is just so much potential and energy that occurs in the microcosm of UC Davis. I think there is huge potential to build partnerships with athletics, the Greek community, and other student organizations.”
The Stock The Pantry drive is another in a line of community efforts run by the UC Davis SAAC, along with the holiday food drive, the Big West Conference Coin Drive and the Aggie Idol charity talent show.
For more information on The Pantry, visit thepantry.ucdavis.edu.