SUU to Open HOPE Pantry at Southwest Technical College

Published: February 05, 2020 | Author: Kierstin Pitcher-Holloway | Read Time: 3 minutes

HOPE PantrySouthern Utah University and Southwest Technical College are excited to announce the opening of a second HOPE Pantry in Cedar City. Located on the campus of STECH, the pantry will help to serve a broader range of students in the community, including those attending STECH. 

The “Helping Our People Eat” or HOPE Pantry provides non-perishable food and hygiene items to students who are experiencing financial hardship. All students are welcome. Whether students are waiting for their next paycheck or struggling to pay rent, the HOPE Pantry provides help, no questions asked. 

"Like students at SUU, many STECH students are food insecure and qualify as low-income,” said Tessa Douglas, director of Dual Enrollment and Placement Services at STECH. “Our students are already utilizing the HOPE Pantry at SUU, so to have a location on our campus is going to be an incredible benefit for them."

STECH has a student population of 2,348, and about 37% of those students seeking certifications come from underserved populations. With the desire to help more students and an abundance of donations, Pam Branin, director of SUU’s Community Engagement Center, reached out to STECH to form a partnership. 

“This second pantry location is the culmination of efforts to find space that could accommodate a large donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Welfare and Self Reliance Services, on-going partnership with Care and Share, and the desire to make sure that students have the food they need,” said Branin. 

The donation was coordinated by Kivalu Uluave, Welfare and Self Reliance Services Manager for the St. George and Cedar City areas. Uluave is a former T-Bird who played football and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business. 

“Giving back to SUU, was more than a warm good-like feeling; it’s a feeling of joy, especially to know that my small efforts may impact many, in both short and long term aspects,” said Uluave. “Though I certainly can’t take full credit for the generous donation provided to the SUU Hope Pantry, I am grateful to know that food insecurity will be greatly minimized, thanks to the many who helped make this happen.” 

SUU’s HOPE Pantry currently serves an average of 65 students a month, as well as an additional 300 plus students each month at the Bread Cart in the Sharwan Smith Student Center each Monday morning. The Bread Cart is able to distribute several hundred pounds of bakery items each month to several hundred students due to generous donations from Lin's Fresh Market in Cedar City.

Along with the generous community partnership, the HOPE Pantries are stocked from the donations gathered at the monthly Bread & Soup Nite. The soup night is held in the Sharwan Smith Center Ballroom on the first Monday of every month during both fall and spring semesters. Open to anyone, Bread and Soup Night provides all-you-can-eat bread, soup and dessert. Admission is $1 with a non-perishable food donation or $3 without a food donation.

The new STECH HOPE Pantry will have an official ribbon cutting on Tuesday, February 11 at 3 p.m. in the STECH building at 510 W. 800 S.

Tags: Cedar City Community Engagement Center

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