StockUP, the pop-up food pantry that aided members of the UP community that were facing food insecurity, is on pause while the Diversity & Inclusion Programs (DIP) work towards making the program more organized. The department aims to reintroduce StockUP next semester, according to Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Tshombé Brown.
“There's a lot of things that need to happen,” Brown said. “There's no firm timeline at this time, just that my hope is that we're able to start it up again in the spring term.”
A development fund dedicated to supporting StockUP is crucial to restructuring the program. StockUP is funded through monetary donations and can receive these donations through UP's special projects funding opportunity. StockUP is just one of the special projects that receives donations through this fund.
With this funding, Brown’s main goal is to find a permanent location for StockUP indoors rather than outdoors like in previous years. After achieving this, Brown hopes to make more changes to support the program.
“I'd like to see it at least once a week to support people, and getting the staffing a permanent location and my particular student workers that would work on StockUP specifically,” Brown said.
DIP introduced StockUP to the UP community in early 2021.The program was created by Yuri Hernandez-Osorio, the University’s former coordinator for diversity and inclusion programs along with students who have graduated from the university. It continued as a recurring program throughout the 2022-23 school year under Carolina Cortes and Eduardo Contreras and was able to provide participants with fresh produce, canned goods and other basic necessities.
Without all of the original coordinators of StockUP, the future of the program was uncertain. However, members of DIP recognize the need for the resource and are supporting Brown to bring it back to campus.
“I thought StockUP was a great resource for a lot of the students struggling on campus with purchasing groceries, especially because groceries are so expensive nowadays,” Diversity Collaborator Daniela Gutierrez said. “[It’s] an opportunity for them to get proper nutrients without having to spend a lot of money, especially students that aren't working and students that don't have cars.”
StockUP isn’t the only resource available for students that are struggling with food insecurity. The University Care Team has various resources on the UP website that students can refer to if they are in need.
Tiffany Marquez Escobar is a reporter for The Beacon. She can be reached at email@example.com