Free resources available at CINO Pantry

Those who have a CINO ID card have access to nutritious food, hygiene items, menstrual products, blankets and some clothes with no questions asked at the CINO Pantry.

The pantry is located in the Lib Jackson Student Union in room A-215. Students can access items by swiping their CINO card. Students, faculty and staff can stop by Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Saturday 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The idea for the pantry originated in 2012 in a University 110 “First year experience” class. The demand for free resources was apparent due to the high percentage of students using financial aid, along with the number of students who lived off-campus and struggled to buy their own groceries.

Donations from many different places including students, parents and church food banks keep the pantry running and available. Food Lion also donates items once a year. Additionally, Aramark food service helps out with food donations.

Aramark Sustainability Coordinator Jessica Middleton works to eliminate food waste at the company by pushing for donation efforts. Along with Aramark, the campus Starbucks also donates their extra food.

“We try to be as sustainable as possible,” Community Engagement Coordinator Leah LeVert said.

The CINO pantry has grown with the University as it once was located in a small closet with only dried goods. It was not used often until the space received a fridge and freezer.

Last semester, the pantry catered close to 100 individual students who were allowed to take as many items as they needed or wanted. Later in the semester, LeVert said there will be a survey going out soon on how to better cater to student’s needs. She highly suggests the community to participate.

“I would love to hear from students what they want,” LeVert said. “We don’t want to acquire items that are useless when the survey comes out.”

The CCU community can find updates on their Instagram @cinopantry.