When the Cherry Pantry opened its doors last February, it set out to address the growing rate of food insecurity among temple students. Now in its second semester of operation, the pantry and its staff are hoping to expand their reach to help even more students.
According to Alexis Culp, a pantry employee and third-year Temple student, the pantry has experienced an influx of new students utilizing the resource.
“Since we last opened in February, we were only having about 20 to 30 students a week visiting.”
However, this semester the Cherry Pantry has been raising awareness of the availability of the pantry, and according to Culp, students are taking notice.
“In the beginning of this semester we had about 50 people coming in each week, and last week we had a record high 150 students visiting,” said Culp.
When students visit the pantry they are given 16 “points” to spend each week. Items are categorized
into three price tiers:
1-point items are considered side dishes, like corn or canned fruit.
2-point items are items considered to be one meal, like a packet of ramen or a can of soup.
3-point items are things considered to be multiple meals, like a box of cereal or package of pasta.
Along with food, the pantry is now offering hygiene products, such as soap, shampoo and conditioner and feminine products.
Culp explained that the hygiene products are counted separately from food items.
“Our hygiene products aren’t based on a point system; they’re based on three items. So it’s any three items that a student would like to take that week.”