Food for thought

Cans and boxes of food sit with fruits in the back of the pantry. (Kennedy Camarena/ The Signpost)

The fall semester is upon us once again, and with the start of a new semester comes an influx of new students, homework, stress and, most of all, spending an extended amount of time on campus.

One of the many services Weber State University provides to students, staff and faculty is the Weber Cares Pantry.

There are many places on campus that offer great food resources to hungry people throughout the day on campus, but the Weber Cares Pantry extends its helping hand past the hours someone spends on campus.

Since 2011, the Weber Cares Pantry has allowed students, staff and faculty members of WSU to feel more supported and secure in pursuing their academic goals without worrying about where their next meal, or their family’s next meal, is coming from.

Located on the Ogden campus in the Stewart Library room 224, Weber’s pantry is set up to help provide “healthy eating options, decrease food insecurity and increase students’ ability to stay in school and finish their degree,” according to the food pantry’s page on the WSU website.

Teresa Martinez is currently the interim co-director of the Center for Community Engaged Learning and has been at Weber State for the last 15 years. She said the most important part of the pantry is to make sure that food and food insecurity aren’t holding anyone back on their academic and professional goals.

“We really want to normalize using the pantry and normalize asking for help so people know that it’s not embarrassing or shameful to use the pantry,” Martinez said. “You don’t have to feel as if someone else needs it more than you, because everyone needs access to food.”

The pantry is available to anyone on campus who has an active W# and their families. Upon entering the pantry, there are signs and flyers advising people how many supplies they can take according to the size of their household.

Prior to 2021, the pantry was located on the fourth floor of the Shepherd Union building, but last March, the pantry was able to move into a much bigger space in the Stewart Library.

Martinez said this move has had a very positive impact on the amount of people they are able to help, especially since their location is in a much more accessible area of campus.

“Moving to the space in the library has allowed the pantry to expand the reach that we have,” Martinez said. “We now have access to commercial-size fridges and freezers along with more shelves which provide more space for basic supplies.”

A bigger, more spacious location means the pantry can now accept more donations. Martinez says that the pantry is always accepting donations and it doesn’t necessarily matter if the food items are perishable as the pantry decides what they will keep and what they won’t.

“Anyone can drop off food at our Ogden campus at the library or the CCEL office in the Union building,” Martinez said. “People don’t need to worry about whether it’s perishable or not, we will take anything and everything.”

People can also donate money to the pantry on their website at