Zips Pantry provides students with essentials

By Sofia Syed, Arts & Life Editor

The Zips Assistance Pantry returned this semester to help UA students by supplying them with basic essentials. The pantry was held in Polsky room 483 on April 8.

The pantry is sponsored by the University Safety Consortium and Student Assistance Group, in partnership with the School of Social Work.

The pantry was originally called the Social Workers Appreciating Peers, or SWAP, pantry. It was started in December of 2011 in the School of Social Work, according to Jenni Sette, the pantry coordinator. In 2012, it went campus-wide.

“For this pantry, we had over 700 items donated. The most we’ve ever had is like 1,400 items donated,” Sette said.

Donations included various hygiene products, toiletries, and simple kitchen supplies such as trash bags and paper towels. According to Keno Jackson, student intern in the graduate program, the most donated items were shampoos and conditioners.

Food, razors and medicine were not acceptable donations.

“At this time, we’re not doing food. There’s different phases we’re hoping to go into, but right now there’s an abundance of hot meal sites and churches around here that have food pantries,” Sette said. “We were trying to address things that weren’t covered in the area like hygiene products—those sorts of things—but hopefully we’re growing to move into food and clothing one day, maybe.”

The donations came from a collaboration of different departments on campus.

Although the pantry was available for one day this semester, Sette said, “We’re going to try and set up a better timeline and have one or two pantries each semester; which is the goal.”

The pantry is available for all UA students who have a valid zip card. For more information about this service, visit www.uakron.edu/pantry. The website also includes links to local food pantries, hot meal sites and various community resources.

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