October 10, 2023


Meet Alaina Giovengo, AmeriCorps member at Baldwin Wallace University, and read about how the Student Resource Center is bringing awareness to the stigmas associated with student food insecurity and making basic supplies more accessible for students through Pop-Up pantries across campus.

Earlier this month, Baldwin Wallace hosted our 2nd Pop Up Pantry of the semester. These Pop-Up events are intended to make food and household products available to our students, as well as break down the stigma for the need of these products. With approximately 1 in 3 college students struggling with food insecurity in the US, this program and programs like it are imperative for the wellbeing of our student populations.

Members of BWU’s Alpha Gamma Delta assist with Pop-Up pantry set-up

The Student Resource Center at Baldwin Wallace offers a Campus Cupboard where students can schedule a visit and get any food and household items they need. This program is being put to use by our students, however the Pop-Up Pantries make these services even more accessible. The design of the Pop Up is to have a table set up at different locations on campus with high-student traffic. So, unlike the Campus Cupboard where students have to schedule a visit and come to us, the Pop-Up Pantries allows for the Student Resource Center to come to the students. The event is a bit more relaxed so students can come and go as they please and grab whatever number of items they need. 

Our Pop-Up Pantries last an hour and a half and are held one to two times a month. At this most recent Pop-Up we had around 100 students come by and almost all of the items were taken. The event took place in our student recreation center and was held at a time when students would be passing through between classes. The items we hand out include household supplies like paper towels, Clorox wipes, and toilet paper, and hygiene products like shampoo, conditioner, soap, and deodorant. For food products, we hand out easy to prepare and on the go items like fruit, yogurt, microwavable meals, salad kits, muffins, and more. With these Pop-Up Pantries, we can hand out nutritious, perishable foods because we know the items will be taken right then and there. 

Student Resource Ambassadors, Manimone and Sydney, help make the pantries a success!

The most important goal of these Pop Ups is to make students aware of the resources available to them on Campus. Many students may be struggling with basic-needs security but do not know where to go for assistance, may be scared to ask for help, or may not even know that they are struggling. With these events, we’re able to put the resources right in front of students and say, “if you need anything, please take it.” The old gimmick reigns true, if you offer college students free stuff, they will take it. In doing this, we’re bringing light to the needs of our students and telling them that they can and should be able to access resources through their school.

About Alaina:

This is Alaina’s first year serving in the Student Resource Coordinator position. She previously served with AmeriCorps NCCC in the Pacific Region. During her service in NCCC, she and her team helped to build tiny homes for migrant workers and unhoused community members in Utah, filed taxes for low-income families and individuals in California, and worked with Habitat for Humanity to construct homes in Montana. She graduated from Baldwin Wallace University in 2022 majoring in Communication Studies and with a minor in International Studies. She is excited to be completing another AmeriCorps term back in the community where she completed her undergraduate, and to be able to serve the students there.

For questions about the Student Resource Center program contact Stephanie Dodd.