The following story is part of The Globe’s back-to-school content for fall 2022.
For Salt Lake Community College students facing food insecurity, the Bruin Pantry is available to help.
The pantry – available at the Taylorsville Redwood, South City, Jordan and Miller campuses – is available to all students and staff for free. The only requirement for those looking to access the pantry is to present their SLCC OneCard.
“We get food [from the] Utah Food Bank. In addition to food, we also have period products, tampons and pads,” said Diyah Shah, coordinator for the pantry. She added that the pantry also occasionally carries infant formula and oral care products.
For those with dietary restrictions or gluten sensitivities, the pantry provides vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free foods. Basic Needs Coordinator Rene Zepeda said SLCC provides culturally relevant food to the West Valley Center to offer more options for students and staff in need.
In addition to providing food and other essential products, the campuses with a pantry, minus West Valley Center, also host gardens for anyone to rent plots and grow food.
Shah acknowledged some students may feel embarrassed about visiting the Bruin Pantry because of the stigma of low income and food insecurity. The pantry’s staff, she said, tries to reduce that stigma by engaging with students and staff.
Alex Bonifaz, an accounting major who works at the Taylorsville Redwood pantry, said everyone at SLCC is welcome at the pantry.
“You’re always welcome here,” Bonifaz said. “No matter what.”
For information about days of operation and hours for each location, visit the Bruin Pantry’s SLCC webpage.