Sloss House adds food pantry to its list of resources


Ella Slade

The Resource Room is a new collaboration between The SHOP and Sloss House as a way to increase equitable access to resources on campus.

Combining forces, SHOP (Students Helping Our Peers) and the Margaret Sloss Center for Women and Gender Equity officially broke ground on a remote food pantry at their grand opening on Thursday.

The Sloss House Resource Room strives to welcome students experiencing food or basic resource insecurities. The pantry will be Iowa State’s second location at 501 Farm House Lane, nuzzled between the Gerdin Business Building and Curtiss Hall.

“This space is entirely a result of our community coming together and supporting,” Sandra Marcu, director of the Sloss House, said. “Everything on the shelves has been donated and given either by the SHOP, United Way or individual donors.”

The SHOP dates back to 2011 as Iowa State’s first on-campus food pantry and was located in Beyer Hall. Resources in the pantry include a variety of dry foods, gender-affirming care items, parenting supplies, books and clothing.

“Something coming back from the pandemic is that we noticed higher levels of food insecurity, basic needs insecurity [and] a lot of people who have families to support who don’t have a lot of support on campus,” Marcu said.

Students who identify as struggling with basic needs such as food, housing and medical care are 25% more likely to withdraw from their studies and leave before graduating, according to the Sloss House website.

Madison Mason, a senior in women’s and gender studies, has experienced food insecurity firsthand.

“I am someone who grew up not sure where the next meal was going to come from,” Mason said. “Pantries like this can provide aid and were lifelines when I was younger.”

Last year, Mason participated in a food insecurity research project focusing on SHOP and other food pantries’ impacts on international students. This year, Mason spearheaded the Resource Room project.

“Statistically, international students are the most likely to be food insecure on a college campus,” Mason said.

Based on this statistic, the Resource Room accepts all kinds of donations but asks the community to keep international students in mind.

“After talking to international and BIPOC (black and indigenous people of color) students on campus, they really like spices,” Mason said. “When we were creating the Resource Room, we sought spices and food from ethnic markets in Ames that go beyond Americanized food.”

The Resource Room will benefit from the Campus Service Council in the coming weeks. The Campus Service Council donation boxes will accept items until April 14.

“The council puts donation boxes around campus for canned food and hygiene items for the Resource Room and SHOP,” Nicole Wernimont, a senior in biology and the council’s outreach director, said.

Boxes are located in the Memorial Union, Pearson Hall, MacKay Hall, Lagomarcino Hall, Curtiss Hall and Kildee Hall.

To donate, shop or check out the Resource Room, the pantry is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday or by appointment. The Sloss House’s other resources are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.