AMES, Iowa -- For this year's Giving Tuesday project, the Iowa State University Foundation chose a student organization called Students Helping Our Peers, also known as The SHOP.
The SHOP is an anonymous food pantry run by students for students.
“About 24 percent of ISU students face food security issues, so at the time of the year where we are thinking about giving back and focusing on those in our community, this year they just seemed like a great fit for this type of project,” ISU Foundation Assistant Director of Annual and Special Gifts Dana Savagian said.
Students can take as much food as they need, whenever they need it.
“When you think of Iowa State, you don't think ‘oh some people struggle to get food.’ But that's true for any campus anywhere across the country. It's just something that's not talked about, so it’s really shocking when you see it,” said Drew Daly, The SHOP's publicity chair.
The president of The SHOP, Alyssa Dougherty, said the pantry is so important because she’s seen her friends and many other students struggle with food security.
“One friend said that at the end of the semester while her friends were going back home, she asked if they had any leftover food that she could have while she was still here in Ames, so she stocked her cupboards and fridge with that,” Dougherty said.
The main location of The SHOP is in the Food Sciences Building and runs completely on donations, but they also have other off-campus locations as well.
Dougherty said with money raised on Giving Tuesday they hope to expand.
“Since 2011, we've been here in the Food Science Hall, but we are running out of space to serve the students we want to serve. We’d also like to offer perishable food items, so moving to a new location with the help of the Giving Tuesday would be really meaningful for us,” Dougherty said
To donate to The SHOP, you can go to this website and click “make a gift.”
Non-perishable food items are always welcome and can be dropped off at the Iowa State Food Sciences Building.