USG passes bill to commit $25,000 to UI Food Pantry

USG Senators Addison Eckard and Katie Michalski presented a bill at Tuesday’s meeting to give support to the UI Food Pantry.


Madyson Gomez

The University of Iowa Undergraduate Student Government meeting at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City on Jan. 24, 2023.

Archie Wagner, News Reporter

The University of Iowa Undergraduate Student Government passed a bill Tuesday to commit $25,000 to the UI Food Pantry from the USG contingency fund. 

The contingency fund supports larger scale projects to help university staff, students, and the community. 

The bill was authored by Sen. Addison Eckard and Sen. Katie Michalski. Eckard said the rationale for helping is the UI Food Pantry’s increasing clientele amid supply chain issues.

Several senators spoke in support of this bill. 

Sen. Jake Wicks spoke of his previous experience working with the food pantry. 

“I’ve worked with the food pantry last semester, and they can get so much work out of the money that we give them,” Wicks said. “They can get so much more good out of this money than any of us use individually.” 

Sen. Delaney Behning cited both her experience in working with the UI Food Pantry in the past as well as the presentation given earlier in the meeting by Steph Beecher, the UI basic needs coordinator. 

“I think that it’s clear that this money would be used very well to help the students at the university as we can see with that presentation,” Behning said. 

Beecher said the UI Food Pantry changed its main food supplier from Walmart to the Martin Brothers — the same supplier as UI University Housing and Dining — in response to current inflation and food prices. 

“With inflation, it’s just the costs are insane, and so that’s what we’re battling right now,” Beecher said. 

By buying in bulk, Beecher said the UI Food Pantry is able to get more food items for the same money spent. 

Beecher said she is also working on trying to get funding through the UI Center for Advancement and alumni donors. 

Given the limited storage, Beecher also said the UI Food Pantry is also looking to go grocery shopping on Wednesdays to restock on Thursdays if financials allow. 

“So really, keeping up spaces is a huge issue. Because ideally, what we want to do is dispersal throughout the week, so everybody has a chance to recuperate,” Beecher said. “It’s really hard when you can’t put the food to store it to disperse.”