On Tuesday, the University of Montana had their grand opening for the new UM Food Pantry. Karen Schlatter is with University Center Special Projects and Events and she said a group of students, faculty and staff members from UM and Missoula College saw a need to support students.

“We opened a UC Food Pantry for the University of Montana students facing food insecurity,” Schlatter said. “It has already been open with some satellite locations at Missoula College, TRiO Support Services, the VETS Office, American Indian Student Services and then our main food pantry is now open in the UC at the West Atrium desk on the first floor.”

According to Schlatter, studies have shown that that about 15% of students are actually homeless and a lot of them have food insecurity.

“Some of the challenges that are happening to the students are that the bus lines don’t run from campus or they are working all day and they can’t get to some of the resources,” Schlatter said. “We found out hundreds of students were using the Missoula Food Bank. Although that is an amazing resource within itself, we just wanted to bring it closer to home to give them an opportunity to have a food pantry here so they can focus on their studies and do a good job at the University of Montana.”

The UM Food Pantry accepts nonperishable food donations, toiletries, toilet paper, feminine hygiene products and household cleaning supplies. To make a donation or get involved, call the UM Food Pantry at 406-243-5125 or email umpantry@umontana.edu. The Food Pantry at the UC will be open Tuesdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm and Fridays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.