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UNR food pantry, Pack Provisions, is seeing more students facing food insecurity amid inflation

Tables with food on them are set up outside under a beige tent. There's a sign in front that says "Open" and "Farm Stand" with a yellow arrow pointing to the tented area. A couple of people are walking standing under or near the tent.
Kennedy Vincent
KUNR Public Radio
Claire Holden is assisting students on campus with fresh produce sourced from the Desert Farming Initiative.

College students experiencing food insecurity now have access to fresh produce and meat on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. The food pantry, Pack Provisions, is seeing a higher number of students now due to inflation and supply issues. 

College students experiencing food insecurity now have access to meat and fresh organic produce on the campus at the University of Nevada Reno. The help comes through the food pantry known as Pack Provisions.

Over 4,000 UNR students are using Pack Provisions for daily resources, including food, gift cards for groceries, school supplies, and personal hygiene items.

“It's, like, a pretty basic human right is access to food, and I think college students, especially, deserve higher quality food than what a lot of college campuses provide.”

Claire Holden is an assistant farm manager with a diversified commercial farm at UNR called The Desert Farming Initiative. It’s a partner with Pack Provisions and a third University program, Wolfpack Meats. All three organizations receive funding from the university, and Pack Provisions accepts donations from the community as well.

Connecting the students with food and supplies is the job of Hanin Abboud Rodriguez, the coordinator of student engagement outreach. She realizes that the students are having trouble paying for what they need, especially with the rising prices of just about everything, some of which are due to inflation and supply shortages. The resources are available at the student union, at the Pack Provisions office.

“With things going up, with gas going higher, our students are just starting to face more and more challenges of paying their dues, and the rent, and now food. And this all leads to students questioning what's the priority: food or school?”

Pack Provisions’ next goal is to open up their services to staff and faculty who are also struggling to keep up with rising inflation.  

To learn more about the Desert Farming Initiative, you can find them on Instagram @desertfarminginitiative. You can learn more about the Pack Provisions program and Wolf Pack Meats from their websites. Students who think they may qualify for Pack Provisions can visit their office on the 3rd floor of the Joe Crowley Student Union.

Produced with assistance from the Public Media Journalists Association Editor Corps funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people.

Kennedy Vincent is a former student reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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