Wednesday morning marked a special day for Iowa State’s Students Helping Our Peers (SHOP) program. Celebrating their 10th anniversary, the SHOP relished opening the doors to their newest renovated space located in Beyer Hall.
The SHOP is a free and anonymous student-founded, student-operated organization dedicated to helping students with personal difficulties involving food insecurity.
A welcome meeting was held in Beyer Hall’s gymnasium to acknowledge the program’s accomplishment. Iowa State President Wendy Wintersteen and Senior Vice President of Student Affairs Toyia Younger gave opening remarks.
Associate vice president for Thielen Student Health and Wellness Services Erin Baldwin spoke with SHOP president Belinda Hoffman at the welcome meeting.
After recently joining forces with SHOP, Food Bank of Iowa president and CEO Michelle Book also gave a surprise announcement that a supplemental $20,000 is being donated to SHOP.
Following the welcome meeting, a ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on the ground floor near the SHOP entrance. Guests were then allowed to tour the new facility and ask questions. Refreshments were available to the attendees as well.
The SHOP food pantry continues to be run by volunteers that work to keep its shelves stocked with fresh store-bought products.
“Everything we do here is confidential and judgement-free,” senior volunteer Ryan Moldin said. “Knowing I can help somebody in need is what I love most about SHOP.”
Director of Student Wellness Brian Vanderheyden looked positively towards the future of SHOP.
“More than 25 percent of Iowa State students feel food insecure," Vanderheyden said. "SHOP wants to be the inclusive, safe and welcoming environment those students can rely on. We hope to expand our services in the future.”
With the Give a Swipe program through ISU Dining, students can donate their own Flex Meal swipes and Dining Dollars to contribute to SHOP.
Students wanting to get involved with SHOP can visit the facility in Beyer Hall room 1307 or contact a staff member to learn more.