The Triton Food Pantry has secured $100,000 in funds to be dispersed in $20,000 sums over the next five years. The funds are a reallocation from the revenue generated by the lease paid by Amazon for their space in the UC San Diego bookstore.
Established in 2015, the Triton Food Pantry is an Associated Students of UCSD (ASUCSD) service providing students with food relief as a part of a UC-wide effort to ensure all student basic needs are met. One in four UCSD students reported that they “somewhat to very often” skip meals to save money in the 2014 UC Undergraduate Experience Survey.
A 2017 Triton Food Pantry budget outlook reported that the pantry would incur a $50,000 plus deficit starting academic year 2018-2019. The deficit is the result of the end of a $3.3 million dollar UC Office of the President food security initiative. ASUCSD executives previously said that the deficit would be closed by fundraising from groups such as College Deans, alumni, faculty, and outside sponsorship.
“In Winter of 2017, the pantry team and myself met with University Development and [UCSD] Procurements to discuss corporate sponsorship strategies and possibilities…” said ASUCSD Assistant Director John Weng. “As Procurements negotiated with Amazon, a possibility for the Pantry to receive a contribution from IPPS and the Bookstore was realized.”
The Pantry has recently received additional donations from various organizations. Housing Dining Hospitality (HDH) donated $2,246 from a 2016 pledge to donate 15 cents from every pound of ecoGrounds coffee purchased. $750 dollars and $1,517.79 were donated from SWIPES for Hunger and alumni telephone outreach, respectively.
Similar deals have been negotiated with UCSD Procurements & Contracts to donate funds to the Triton Food Pantry. According to Assistant Director Weng, the contract with Lyft for ASUCSD Safe Rides also resulted in funds being allocated to the Food Pantry.
Mo Al Elew is an Assistant News Editor at The Triton. You can follow him @SoloMune.