The University of Tennessee at Martin is working to combat food insecurity for its students by opening Captain’s Pantry, a food pantry operation open to all enrolled students regardless of housing situation. Students in need can pick up food items between 8 a.m.-11 p.m. daily in the lobbies of either Ellington or Cooper halls.
The university previously operated a food pantry out of Ellington Hall for students living in on-campus housing; however, the expanded Captain’s Pantry is open to all students. The new pantry officially opens Feb. 15, and those wishing to donate items can do so at any time in the Ellington Hall lobby.
The Alliance of Women Philanthropists recently awarded UT Martin a Giving Circle Grant in excess of $4,600 to begin the pantry program.
Community members and students wishing to donate food items to the pantry are asked to bring any of the following items: applesauce, canned beans, canned chicken, canned fish (tuna and salmon), canned meat, canned vegetables, cooking oils (olive and canola), crackers, dried herbs and spices, fruit (canned or dried), granola bars, instant mashed potatoes, boxed meals, nuts, pasta, peanut butter, rice, shelf-stable and powdered milk, whole grain cereal, soup, stew and chili.
This initiative is an expansion of the Skyhawks Share Meal Program, which provides discounted meals in the Skyhawk Dining Hall to students who are in need. On designated in-person donation days, students with surplus meal plan swipes can donate them to the meal program, and community members can add meals to the bank for $5 each. Online contributions are accepted any time at utm.edu/skyhawksshare.
Feb. 15 is a designated donation day for the Skyhawks Share Meal Program, and donated meals will be accepted in the Skyhawk Dining Hall during the lunch and dinner meal periods. This program was launched in fall 2017 as a joint initiative by the UT Martin Student Government Association and the Division of Student Affairs to combat food insecurity. Since that time, more than 60 students have received more than 900 meals from the bank.
Students in need of assistance can request meals at utm.edu/skyhawksshare.