By Jocelyn Racelis
A new collaboration is helping two student programs make sure members of the Mizzou community have enough to eat.
At the onset of the pandemic in March, Tiger Pantry adapted its services to offer curbside pickup and delivery in order to continue to serve Mizzou students, staff, faculty and health care workers who face food insecurity.
Delivery services were started to support individuals who temporarily did not have access to transportation during stay-at-home orders or who identified as high-risk status for COVID-19. The services were recently extended to those in isolation or quarantine.
At the same time, another group was looking for a new purpose. STRIPES normally offers free, confidential rides home for students. The student program has decided to halt operations in order to ensure the safety of their patrons and volunteers, however.
Stephanie Jerger, a co-director for STRIPES membership, says that pausing operations wasn’t an easy decision.
“On one hand, we want to make sure that we are doing what we can to reduce any potential spread of COVID-19, but on the other hand, we have this obligation to serve our community without judgement,” she says.
STRIPES is now helping Tiger Pantry deliver food to members of the Mizzou community experiencing food insecurity while Tiger Pantry is giving experienced STRIPES drivers a new way to serve.
“STRIPES has been able to support us where we were being stretched thin,” says Brady Peters, student director of Tiger Pantry.
“I think the partnership really allows us to expand the purpose of our organization,” Jerger says.
Members of both programs express their eagerness to continue to serve the Mizzou community through the partnership.
“If you are experiencing any type of food insecurity, Tiger Pantry is there for you and STRIPES can deliver it to you,” Jerger says.
Fighting food insecurity
Food insecurity can look different for everyone, ranging from not having access to nutritious food, to not knowing where the next meal is coming from, to skipping meals because of a lack of food. Tiger Pantry aims to combat and destigmatize food insecurity on campus.
If you are experiencing food insecurity, you can complete a new household form and apply for curbside pick-up and delivery on the Tiger Pantry website.
Members of the Mizzou community can support the Tiger Pantry-STRIPES partnership in a number of ways: