An allotment package called Creative Pantry by the Food Bank of Northern Nevada

When the Food Bank of Northern Nevada (FBNN) recently announced the results of its annual assessment of the Healthy Pantry Initiative, it took a different approach to learning about the work pantry is doing in the local community. Instead of assigning a score to reflect the distribution of healthy food items, the food bank created seven different categories in which winners were awarded a certificate and several kitchen gadgets to hand out to students.

The University of Nevada, Reno (ASUN) Affiliate Student Package Terms have been recognized as the most innovative food store in Northern Nevada. The store received three crockery and three single-serve mixers for distribution to those within the university community.

The certification was awarded to ASUN Pack Provisions by the Northern Nevada Food Bank earlier this summer.

ASUN Pack Provisions is a free on-campus food pantry that supports food insecure university faculty, staff and students. The store offers a variety of products from groceries, including locally sourced ground beef and health products, such as toothpaste and tampons.

“It is amazing that Pack Provisions has been recognized as the most innovative food pantry by the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. Sophie Morton, Director of ASUN Pack, said: “We have been able to continue to support the university community during the pandemic with the help of amazing and dedicated volunteers as well as support Ongoing finance from ASUN and the larger Reno community.

According to the 2020 Civic Engagement Survey conducted by the University’s Center for Student Engagement, one in four students enrolled at the university reported having experienced (or currently have) food insecurity. When providing resources such as Pack Provisions, students can receive the necessary items they need to succeed on campus.

“We saw a huge jump in visits during the 2020-21 school year, when the pandemic first started,” Morton said. “However, this tremendous support from the community and state has allowed us to not only continue to provide these services to the student body but also to expand our reach and make the store more accessible than before.”

The store is based on donations from multiple sources including partnerships with Wolf Pack Meats and the Desert Farming Initiative, two programs in the university’s College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources.

“This support has been essential to the continued success of the ASUN package clauses during this turbulent time, with more students and staff using the store than ever before,” Morton said.

Picture of a few different utensils and kitchen utensils.
Some of the items granted to the ASUN Package Terms by the Northern Nevada Food Bank for granting to university students.

To enhance communication with students, ASUN Pack Provisions recently started scheduling at various places on campus to advertise its services and distribute bags of fresh produce and other grocery items.

“We are working hard to bring back the personal pantry to help students choose their own food, while providing the option online,” said Hanin Abboud Rodriguez, Student Outreach Coordinator. “Giving students the option to choose their own food will help enable them to make choices to consume healthy food as well as eliminate food waste by encouraging the concept of mindful eating.”

Provided by the university’s student government, ASUN, Pack Provisions is located within the Student Engagement Center on the third floor of the Joe Crowley Student Union.

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