The coronavirus outbreak has led to an increased demand at the University of South Florida’s Feed-A-Bull Pantry, which remains open and committed to serving students who may be experiencing reduced income and fewer food options.
Stacey Struhar, a registered dietitian with Student Health Services, says Feed-A-Bull has been serving nearly double the number of individuals who normally visit the pantry. Struhar says that although the pantry’s services are usually limited to students, under the current circumstances, it is open to faculty and staff who may be in need as well.
“As a registered dietitian, I understand the importance of getting enough food and nutrients to be able to be successful at work or at school,” Struhar says. “It’s really been great to be able to provide students with that nutrition, and now faculty and staff as well.”
Feed-A-Bull has experienced an outpouring of support. Through USF Dining, Aramark has donated 650 lbs. of fresh produce, baked goods, fruit juice, dairy products and protein. It’s also received donations from local businesses, the USF Bookstore, Feeding Tampa Bay, a staff food drive and from individuals looking to help, but Struhar says the increased demand for the pantry has led to the need for even more donations. For those looking to donate, a drop-off site has been stationed in the roundabout at USF’s Patel College of Global Sustainability. This location allows individuals to drop off food and other items without coming into contact with any of the pantry’s staff.
The Feed-A-Bull Pantry has moved from inside the Student Health Services building to the Student Services breezeway, near the Office of Financial Aid and the ID Card Center. Staffed by several students from USF Recreation and Wellness, the pantry has instituted updated protocols for checking in and receiving food in order to adhere to Centers for Disease Control guidelines. In an effort to practice safe social distancing, items are wiped down and packaged in “to-go” bags, rather than allowing customers to enter the pantry and shop for themselves.
USF’s Feed-A-Bull Operating Hours (Tampa Campus):
Tuesday: 9 a.m.-noon
Wednesday: 1-4 p.m.
Thursday: 3-5 p.m.
Food pantries are also available on USF’s St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee campuses. To learn more about the hours and procedures at these locations, visit these websites:
USF Sarasota-Manatee: http://www.usfsm.edu/campus-life/support-a-bull-food-pantry.aspx
USF St. Petersburg: https://www.usfsp.edu/student-outreach-and-support/food-pantry/
For information about Feed-A-Bull’s services, or to learn more about how you can help out, visit https://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/student-health-services/services/feed-a-bull-food-pantry.aspx