The SHOP hosts annual Mobile SHOP

Jasmine Schillinger

The SHOP, or Students Helping Our Peers, is an on-campus food pantry run by students in efforts to feed their peers.

Still being a fairly new organization, The SHOP is constantly trying to promote their services and make their presence known on campus.

Kirsten Mancosky, SHOP president and ISU grad student in food science and human nutrition, hopes to get rid of the stigma of visiting a food pantry and make the members of the organization feel more connected.

“We sometimes see people turn away from our offer of free food because they may not want to be associated with a food pantry or feel as if they should save it for those who really need it,” Mancosky said. “Our shelves are open to any and all students. We want students to feel welcome to utilize our services.”

Macy Mears, SHOP volunteer and junior in dietetics, wants students to know that SHOP is open to everyone, no matter their level of need.

“Not only is it a great way to volunteer and get involved, but it is a convenient way to obtain some food staples during tough times,” Mears said. “Whether that be all semester or just one day.”

The SHOP was recently awarded a gold rating for Iowa State’s sustainability efforts in the 2014 STARS Annual Review. The Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System was developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education for schools across the nation to earn points for reaching sustainable goals.

“The most gratifying aspect from being involved in SHOP is when people recognize our organization’s efforts,” Mancosky said. “The award was a great example of how SHOP is being acknowledged as something great and valuable.”

Elisabeth Bermel, vice president and senior in dietetics, shares her favorite aspect of getting to work with an organization like The SHOP.

“I get to work with wonderful people who are dedicating their time to helping their community,” Bermel said. “It is so encouraging when I talk with students who use The SHOP, because you can tell that they are genuinely thankful.”

The SHOP is holding their fourth Mobile SHOP today, Wednesday Oct. 29, from 3-6 p.m at the Fredrickson Court Community Center. During the event SHOP members will hand out pre-packaged bags of food for free.

This year’s event will be Halloween themed and the bags will provide students  food items to make a fall themed meal with chili and pumpkin pie.

“This event has been the most beneficial to getting the word out about SHOP and showing people that we are here to help, no questions asked,” Heather Van Wyk, SHOP volunteer and junior in dietetics and Spanish, said. “And it’s always fun to hand out free food!”