The CSUN Food Pantry has announced on social media that they will close on Saturday, March 21 until further notice due to COVID-19 concerns. The pantry, which is located on campus, provides free food and toiletries for CSUN students, faculty and staff. It services an average of 150 people a week, according to activities assistant Christel Bowen.
According to the post uploaded on Wednesday night, the pantry will continue operations this week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 19 and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m on Friday, March 20.
The pantry will only accept toiletry donations during its remaining time open, according to Bowen.
“We want to take this opportunity to show our appreciation to our amazing donors and supporters for all that they have done for us,” the post says. “We also want to thank our wonderful volunteers for their commitment and hard work.”
Students must check-in with their student ID and first-time visitors are provided with a reusable bag. After the check-in, students can browse the pantry and select the products they wish to take home.
A struggle to fill bare shelves is causing many grocery stores to limit the item amounts per customer to ensure more customers have the opportunity to purchase items. This reality has made the pantry an especially helpful resource for those unable to shop at crowded grocery stores.
CSUN students Ragith Pillai and Glen Furtado stopped by campus on Wednesday afternoon to pick some items from the pantry.
“So we just found that there’s a food pantry at CSUN … and it’s really good to have this during hard times,” Pillai said.
The pair was made aware of the pantry through Instagram.
“We contacted them and they said yes, students can come every week, so it benefits us,” Furtado said.
“They’re planning to continue this until April 19, which is really helpful,” said Pillai, referring to a post uploaded to the pantry’s Instagram earlier in the week.
Just hours later, the pantry announced its indefinite closure on Instagram.
In efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, CSUN has shifted to virtual and alternative modalities through the end of the semester, according to a campus-wide email from President Dianne F. Harrison. The campus remains open and operational, but non-essential employees have been instructed to work remotely.