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To alleviate food insecurity faced by students, CMU created an on-campus food bank called The Pantry

Colorado Mesa University recognizes that not all students have adequate access to funding and may face food insecurities during their college years. To address this issue, CMU created an on-campus food bank accessible to all students, no matter their financial situation.

The Pantry began unofficially more than 10 years ago when a staff member made it their mission to help students with food insecurities. Today, it has grown to become a resource that students use on a daily basis. On average, The Pantry feeds 100-175 students every week, but it is estimated that more students utilize this resource, thus requiring daily maintenance to restock and keep food fresh and up-to-date.

A study done by the Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences in July of 2022 showed that an average of 41% college students experience food insecurity at some point during their college career,” said Professional Staff Assistant to Vice President of Student Services Amber Skillicorn and The Pantry coordinator. “As a campus, we want to make sure students never have to choose between their expenses and food.”

All items in The Pantry are free to CMU students, who can stop by whenever and grab however much they need. There are two food bank locations on campus. The main food bank is located on the first floor of Lowell Heiny Hall, to the left of the IRIS front desk. This location is stocked with fresh produce, frozen meals provided by Sodexo, pasta, cereal, canned goods, toiletries and more. The second food bank is located in the 24-hour study room of the Tomlinson Library with items such as canned goods and toiletries.

In addition to Sodexo providing frozen meals, the Community Food Bank of Grand Junction and Kids Aid deliver fresh produce weekly. CMU’s Student Wellness Center also supports The Pantry through periodic fundraising initiatives. This year, CMU’s 6thAnnual Gobble Wobble 5K raised $462 and donated multiple carts of canned goods to The Pantry.

“Each year [the Gobble Wobble] has grown into an amazing event where we raise money and food for our student food bank… We bring a lot of awareness to [The Pantry], but we also raise hundreds of dollars each year and we also have piles and piles of food to turn in. This year we have over 160 participants and it just grows every year. Our goal is to make sure everyone has a full belly during this time of the year where we all start to celebrate with family,” said Director of Campus Recreation Lynn Nordine, who runs the Gobble Wobble.

While there is not a drop-off location for individual donations, those who would like to donate items can contact Amber Skillicorn by email [email protected] or phone 970.248.1366. The Pantry is always in need of items such as pasta, pasta sauce, pancake mix, syrup, granola bars and anything meal-based.

Additionally, Sodexo is always looking for volunteers to help package frozen meals to deliver to The Pantry’s main location. Those who are interested in food packaging can sign up here.

The Pantry’s main location is open Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm. This location will be closed from December 23, 2022 to January 2, 2023, and will reopen on January 3, 2023 for J-Term. The 24-hour location will be accessible throughout Winter Break.

Students should be made aware there is no check-in system for The Pantry and those who do not feel comfortable walking in to retrieve items can fill out a food request form (The Pantry Request) instead and pick up their items at a later date.

For more information about The Pantry, please visit:


Written by Madelynn Fellet