When an IUS student was struggling to keep up their grades in 2015, a concerned staff member checked in
A cascade of need came pouring out.
The student revealed they had just lost their job and were experiencing housing and food insecurity. It was so bad, they started sleeping in their car.
After this discovery, the care management team provided by CAPS (Counseling and Psychological Services) at IUS decided that food insecurity needed to decrease for students, as a whole.
The Grenadier Grab ‘n Go now exists to meet those needs. It provides not just shelf-stable, fresh, refrigerated and frozen food, but also personal hygiene products, some household goods, and some clothing items.
The pantry, located in University Center South, is available to all faculty, staff and any student enrolled in at least one class. Students also responsible for others in their households are able to collect items for those members as well.
When CAPS held its first food drive in fall 2015, faculty and staff helped stock the pantry after gathering “a small committee to identify the needs, location, and process for food distribution,” said Karen Richie, Care Management Manager and Counselor at CAPS.
Richie said there are no requirements to access the free pantry and that without requirements the hope is to reduce barriers for hungry community members.
“Students do not have to ‘prove’ they have a need,” said Richie, “by way of bank statements, written statements, or anything.”
The only thing requested is to complete a brief form when entering the pantry to help maintain the partnership with Dare to Care, a nonprofit organization that helps feed the hungry, which helps provide products and services for the pantry.
Dare to Care officially started partnering with the pantry in April and has been a continuous supplier ever since, said Richie.
The pantry is now “four to five times larger than what it was last semester,” said Richie.
The refrigerator and freezer are also new “thanks to alumni support,” she added.
The demand for the pantry has increased since the start of the pandemic, but the awareness of it has also increased as well, Richie said.
“There usually is about ten visitors a week,” she said. “But it used to be 10 visitors the whole semester in 2015.”
What to know about the Grenadier Grab ‘n Go:
The pantry is located at University Center South room 207 inside the CAPS office. The office is to the immediate left after entering the third floor of the building. It can be easily spotted with not only the red sign above the door, but also by the cardboard box for any donations positioned right outside the door as well.
Those in need can visit the office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to request and/or pick up items. After hours and during the weekend the university police department will have an officer take visitors to the pantry. IUS community members can also visit this website to request items: https://www.ius.edu/personal-counseling/care-management.html .
(To schedule an appointment with CAPS, call (812) 941-2244 or email. You can also visit the CAPS office, open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visit this website to learn more: https://www.ius.edu/personal-counseling/index.html .
For those in a mental health crisis, contact the IU Southeast Police Department at (812) 941-2400 or call the Regional Crisis and Information Line at 8000-221-0446 open 24 hours.)