Photo (front left to right): Oklahoma State Representative Daniel Pae, Beth Rogers| OSUIT Social Service Liaison/Interpreter, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Chancellor Allison Garret, Oklahoma State Representative Mark McBride.
The Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education has named Pete's Pantry, OSU Institute of Technology's campus food pantry, a recipient of the Oklahoma Hunger-Free Campus Act Program Grant.
The Oklahoma Hunger-Free Campus Act is a pilot program addressing post-secondary student hunger in Oklahoma. As a recipient, OSUIT will receive a matching grant of $26,667 for the fiscal year, with the additional four years' awards contingent upon available funding.
"We have never been funded before. This will open the doors to help end food insecurities on this campus and the surrounding areas," said Beth Rogers, social services liaison at OSUIT. "We plan to expand services, equipment, training, and community collaborations with the funding we will receive through this grant."
Initially established in 2019, Pete's Pantry was designed to combat food insecurity and promote student success. Since the launch of this initiative, the need for resources has grown, and so have the services and benefits.
Those in need can find various shelf-stable, non-perishable foods, produce, and frozen meals, hygiene supplies, clothing, bicycles, and assistance applying for SNAP and SoonerCare benefits.
Currently enrolled students at OSUIT, College of Muscogee Nation, Green Country Technology Center, MPower, and the Fiber Optics Technician Program and OSUIT employees can utilize the community pantry to help meet their needs.
This spring, the Pete's Pantry had nearly 1000 visits, according to Rogers.
Since its launch, Pete's Pantry has relied on generous donations and community partnerships to provide the supplies they have on hand.
Partnerships like Hunger Free Oklahoma in Tulsa, The Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, OSU Foundation, Department of Human Services and anonymous donors help bring awareness of the realities of food insecurity and play a vital role in the success and addition of additional services.
These partnerships make it possible for students and employees to obtain vegetables, dairy, meat and canned goods, apply to receive a bike for assistance with transportation and extend resources available to both students and employees of OSUIT.
Pete's Pantry is located in room 109 of the Learning Resource Center. It is daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
If you are a student in need of additional resources to assist in your success, please visit www.okdhslive.org for eligibility information or to apply online.
If you need assistance with transportation, please complete an application at on the Pete's Pantry page for consideration.
For more information about Pete's Pantry, donations, or volunteer opportunities, please contact Beth Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org.