GaelPantry

In the Fall of 2016 the GaelPantry was opened after a growing number of students voiced their concerns for other students struggling to make ends meet economically, and thus were forgoing meals.   This food pantry is just one of over 800 on-campus food pantries meeting the unfortunate reality for many college students: food insecurity.  Food insecurity can hit anyone at any time throughout any phase of life. The GaelPantry is a tangible way that SMC, through the MMC, is providing better systems of food security on campus. For additional resources, please see SMC's Nutritional Support page.       

GaelPantry Hours and Location: 

The GaelPantry is located behind the Soda Center (see map on the righthand sidebar), and is available to all SMC students who live on or off campus.  Every student has 10 points a week available to them. Please bring your ID with you to when you pick up your items. (If your need exceeds 10 points and you need additional food support please email the MMC Director, Karin McClelland, at klm14@stmarys-ca.edu to make arrangements.)

GaelPantry Hours - Fall 2022:

  • Mondays, 10am-12pm
  • Tuesdays, 6-8pm
  • Wednesdays, 1-3pm
  • Thursdays, 6-8pm

Solidarity Suppers:

Three times each semester, the GaelPantry team - along with campus collaborators - host a FREE DINNER for any and all Saint Mary's Students who want to attend! 

Fall Solidarity Suppers will take place on the following Wednesdays from 5-6pm in the Fountain Courtyard (behind the Mission & Ministry Center, between Oliver Hall & the Chapel):

  • September 21
  • October 26
  • November 16

GaelPantry FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Who is eligible to use the GaelPantry?

Any Saint Mary’s College student with a valid student ID number.

Do I need to prove need?

No. We do not ask for any kind of income verification at this time. Instead, we ask for students who are in a position of food insecurity to assess their own need. The goal of the GaelPantry is to serve students who are in need; not be a convenient alternative to Safeway.

When is the GaelPantry open?

See above!

Where is the GaelPantry located?

As of April 19, 2021, the GaelPantry is located in its original location - behind the Soda Center.

How often can I get food from the GaelPantry?

Each student has 10 points per week, and they may choose to use all 10 points in one visit, or order twice during the week.

What should I expect when I come to the GaelPantry?

You are free to pick out items from the shelves and a student who will be sitting at the desk will log the items you have chosen. This student will ensure that your items add up to 10 points and will provide you with a bag for you to place your items in.

What do we do with student information?

Your name will not be disclosed; only your Student ID. Our student volunteers have been trained to keep confidentiality and provide a welcoming environment. Our system is designed with a threefold purpose: to ensure we have enough food items to meet demand and to provide the necessary data for best practices in the future.

How can I keep up to date on GaelPantry hours and special events?

Follow us on Instagram! instagram logo 

What types of food are available at the GaelPantry?

The GaelPantry is currently only offering non-perishable food items. This point system will be re-evaluated with usage and need to make sure that the Pantry is being as helpful as possible to those in need.

  • Canned black, red, and pinto beans - 1 point

  • Canned fruit - 2 points

  • Canned tuna - 2 points

  • Canned soup - 2 points

  • Canned vegetables - 2 points

  • Cereal - 3 points

  • Granola and/or Energy bar (Cliff, Kind, etc) - 1 point

  • Jam/Jelly - 3 points

  • Macaroni and cheese - 1 point

  • Rice - 3 points

  • Oatmeal - 1 point

  • Pasta - 3 points

  • Other items as they are made available*

HISTORY:

Why did SMC start an on-campus food pantry?

Food insecurity is a growing concern among college students across the nation; reports show that between 20% and 60% of college students on a college or university campus experience food insecurity. Food insecurity is defined as “the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.” Although Saint Mary’s may be located in an affluent area, its students are by no means exempt from the challenges of food insecurity. In light of the growing cost of higher education, food is often the first thing to be cut from a college student’s budget.  

After students on the SMC campus made a point to reveal the level of need that occurs on this campus, it became clear that action needed to be taken in order to support and care for our students. Since our Lasallian Mission has concern for the poor and social justice as a core principle, the installment of a physical support to students aligns with the larger mission of SMC.

What is the history of the GaelPantry?

In March of 2014, SMC students took it upon themselves to reveal struggles they were experiencing in an event called Economic Realities. When students took the opportunity to voice their concerns to staff and administration, for themselves and for fellow students, it became evident that students needed tangible resources--particularly nutritional assistance. Plans to install an on-campus food pantry began to take effect in May 2014-2015 but got steam when MMC partnered with the Christian Brothers and invested students in January 2016. The GaelPantry Committee was formed by the Mission and Ministry Center, student leaders, and Christian Brothers in March. The GaelPantry Committee produced a GaelPantry Proposal that was shared with the Cabinet. In May 2016, a student group called “End the Silence” requested an on-campus food pantry in their list of demands as a tangible support for students, again demonstrating the urgency for this resource. The President and Cabinet accepted the proposal with the understanding that the Mission and Ministry Center (MMC) will coordinate its operation (reporting to the VP for Mission) for a one year pilot program. The CFO recommended that the Director of MMC work with Good Eats to secure support and an appropriate space. The pantry offically opened on October 12, 2016.

What were #FoodPantryFridays?

During 2020-2021 we wanted to ignite our community with something fun, interactive and creative to look forward to each week: #FoodPantryFridayClick here for videos and/or recipes from members of our SMC community. Their creations include ingredients available to you at the GaelPantry and up to 2 additional ingredients from your own pantry.

GETTING INVOLVED:

If I am interested in volunteering at the GaelPantry...

We currently do not need any volunteers. Please contact mmc@stmarys-ca.edu to volunteer in the future.

If I want to make a food and/or financial donation to the GaelPantry...

We currently are not accepting any food donations on campus. If you have food you would like to donate, please contact us at mmc@stmarys-ca.edu

Monetary donations can be made online by clicking on the Gael Pantry Fund button on the top right side of this page. 

We always accept checks made out to Saint Mary's College with GaelPantry written in the memo section.  These checks can be mailed to:

Mission and Ministry Center, Saint Mary's College of CA, 1928 St. Mary's Road, PMB 4777, Moraga, CA 94575

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

SMC students may be eligible to receive CalFresh benefits. CalFresh benefits can help buy nutritious foods for a better diet. CalFresh benefits stretch food budgets, allowing individuals and families to afford nutritious food, including more fruit, vegetables and other healthy foods. The amount of benefits a household receives is dependent on household size countable income, and monthly expenses, such as housing and utilities. For a household of one person with a gross income of $2,024, the maximum CalFresh allotment would be $194. The program issues monthly benefits on an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. Food may be purchased at any grocery store or farmers market that accepts EBT cards. (https://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/calfresh

  • Get started on a CalFresh Application through the Students Portal here

  • Connect with someone from the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano here

  • College Student Eligibility and Income Limit Information here

  • California SNAP Hotline number (877) 847-3663