What Students Need to Know

Eligibility and Requirements

The FGCU Campus Food Pantry (CFP) serves currently enrolled FGCU students who are experiencing food insecurity. “Food Insecurity” refers to the lack of access to enough food to fully meet basic needs at all times due to inadequate financial resources.

All clients are required to have a valid FGCU Eagle ID to be able to use the CFP. If you are experiencing problems with your Eagle ID, please visit the Eagle ID Card Office to resolve the problem before using the CFP.

If you are a new client to the CFP, you are required to read and sign a Recipient Agreement. During your first visit, you will be provided with a reusable bag. If you need to make future visits to the CFP, we ask that you bring a reusable bag for your convenience.

FOOD FACTSVOLUNTEERSFOOD DRIVESRECIPES

Procedures

  • While waiting to use the CFP, we ask that all clients sit on the chairs to the left of the food pantry. This will help ensure the privacy of the students who are currently using the food pantry, as well as, control traffic in the hallway. You will be called in accordingly.

  • All clients must sign in with the staff member. Your Eagle ID will be swiped to verify your enrollment in the current semester.

  • You may visit the CFP once a week, when you are experiencing food insecurity.

  • During your visit, you may take up to 10 pounds of shelf stable food plus bread, frozen meat, and beverages, if they are available.

  • We provide a basket for your shopping convenience.

  • Each client may circulate through the CFP only ONCE. It is essential that you only take items that you NEED and adhere to the posted limits on certain food items. Do not worry about going over the allotted 10 pounds. If you do go over the limit, you will choose what items to remove and leave on the weighing table for volunteers to restock.

  • After you have completed the middle aisle (the section that counts towards the 10 pounds), you need to weigh the items in your basket and make sure a volunteer confirms your weight. Please pack your items in your bag before proceeding to other sections in the food pantry. You may leave your basket at the weighing station for a volunteer to collect.

  • Once you have completed your visit in the food pantry, please exit through the back door.

Friendly Reminders

  • We ask students to respect the space that we are given and to maintain a quiet conversation - both inside and outside of the food pantry.

  • While in the food pantry, we do not allow students to use their cell phone. It is distracting to other clients, as well as to our volunteers. If your phone call is important, please step outside of the food pantry and you may return when your conversation is completed.

  • We only provide one reusable bag to new clients. Please do not ask for a bag when you have forgotten yours.

  • You will notice several limitation signs throughout the food pantry. Please pay careful attention to each sign, as they often change each week.

  • Kindly observe all “Volunteer Only” signs. Not all donated items in our inventory are available to take. If you are not sure whether a location is for you to use, please ask a volunteer and they will gladly help you.

  • If we have frozen items available, do  not leave the freezer open for an extended period of time. Decide what category of meat you’d like prior to opening the freezer (use the helpful instructions on the front of the freezer to find out what items can be found on which shelf).

  • Please keep all your personal belongings with you. The staff members and volunteers are not responsible for them being left at the desk or at the weighing table.

To be able to run the Campus Food Pantry efficiently and equitably, all guidelines and procedures need to be met and adhered to. Currently, the CFP is a choice pantry (a place where clients are able to decide what items they would like), but we also have the option of handing out pre-packed bags of food.

Please respect the generosity of our donors and only use the food pantry if you are experiencing food insecurity beyond your control. We also ask that you educate misinformed students who think that the food pantry is a place to receive “free food” and to only refer students whom you know need us and our service. The food pantry can only be sustainable if we all work together.

For any additional questions, please contact the food pantry at 239-745-FOOD (3663) or slloyd@fgcu.edu.


 

Food facts

Dates on Food

The dates on food labels can be confusing. The truth is, they often have nothing to do with food safety.  Here's what you really need to know.

SELL-BY
Most sell-by dates are found on perishables like meat, seafood, poultry and milk. The date is a guide for stores to know how long they can display a particular product. This date has no meaning if the product is frozen and handled safely when thawing and preparing.
USE-BY, BEST IF USED BY, BEST BY, BEST BEFORE
These "use by" and “best” dates are generally found on shelf-stable products such as mustard, mayonnaise, and peanut butter.
EXPIRES ON
The only place you’re likely to encounter this type of date is on infant formula and some baby foods, which are the only food products the federal government regulates with regard to dating. You should always use the product before this date has passed.

The date, which is provided voluntarily by the manufacturer, tells you how long the product is likely to remain at its absolute best quality when unopened. But, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service point out, it is not a safety date.

After the "use by" or “best” date has passed, you may start to notice gradual changes in the unopened product’s texture, color, or flavor. But as long as you’ve been storing the unopened item properly, you can generally consume it beyond this date.

Your best bet for determining whether an unopened shelf-stable product with this type of date is still of satisfactory quality is to simply smell and examine it first. Always discard foods that have developed an off odor, flavor or appearance. You can also consult the www.stilltasty.com for optimal food storage times, for both unopened and opened items. 

You may also consult the USDA website for facts on fresh or frozen meats.

 Never consume or even taste food or beverages you are uncertain about.

 WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!!

 

Volunteers

The FGCU Campus Food Pantry (CFP) welcomes FGCU and the Southwest Florida community to volunteer with us. Community volunteers must fill out a Volunteer Acknowledgment Form prior to volunteering. 

To volunteer for the CFP, please click on the Sign-Up link. This link will open an external website that will allow you to view available volunteer opportunities at the CFP.

If you need help with signing up for spots, please view this tutorial video for assistance. Contact the CFP if you are experiencing difficulty with the sign up process.

  • Support volunteers are required to view this video before arriving at the pantry.

  • Delivery volunteers are required to view this video before arriving for their shift. 

  • We ask all volunteers to arrive on time. If you will be arriving late or need to cancel your volunteer shift, please contact the CFP at 239-745-3663 as soon as possible.

  • All volunteers must wear close-toed shoes.

  • You must be able to lift up to 50 lbs. Accommodations will be made for those not able to lift heavy weight due to health restrictions. Please address these restrictions with a staff member prior to volunteering.

All volunteers are required to check in with the staff member when they arrive to receive instructions for their shift. Below are common activities that volunteers will experience while volunteering at the CFP. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the CFP before you volunteer, and we will be happy to assist you.

Support volunteer tasks during Hours of Operation

  • Greeting and assisting the clients.

  • Re-stocking shelves, freezer and snack basket.

  • Weighing, checking expiration dates and storing incoming donations.

  • Collecting all used baskets and placing them in the appropriate location.

  • Help sustain a clean and organized environment.

Support volunteer tasks for Pantry Clean-up day

  • Removing and cleaning cans from the shelves.

  • Clean shelves and counter space.

  • Vacuuming the food pantry.

  • Sort through donations and checking expiration dates.

  • Help sustain a clean and organized environment.

Support volunteer tasks for Delivery

  • Help bring donations from the food delivery truck into the food pantry.

  • Placing food donations in appropriate locations.

  • Must be able to lift up to 50 lbs. of food.

  • Help sustain a clean and organized environment.

  • Confidentiality: The CFP asks that all volunteers respect the privacy of our clients that use the food pantry, as well as, refraining from repeating any sensitive materials outside of the food pantry.

  • Late Arrivals: We understand that emergencies can occur. If you will be arriving late to your volunteer shift, contact a food pantry staff at 239-745-3663 as soon as possible.

  • Cancellations: The CFP allows two cancellations before we ask that you not sign up for volunteer shifts. Cancellations need to be submitted to the food pantry at least 48 hours before your shift. Volunteer opportunities at the CFP are in high demand and we greatly rely on our volunteers for the sustained operation of the food pantry.

 FGCU Students may use their volunteer hours at the CFP for Service Learning hours needed towards graduation.

Service Learning forms are now online, and can be founds on the Office of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement website

Service-Learning Agreement and Verification Form Information

  • Agency Information:

    • Service Agency Name: FGCU Campus Food Pantry

    • Service Agency Address: 10501 FGCU Blvd. S., Fort Myers, FL, 33965

    • Service Supervisor: Samantha Lloyd

    • Service Phone: (239) 745-3663

    • Service Activities: See above  

 

How to Hold a Food Drive

A food drive is a concentrated effort to collect food within a certain period of time. We ask that you coordinate your effort with the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (CFP). The pantry staff would be happy to answer any questions you may have in regards to a collection effort.

Here are some common questions you will want to ask yourself before starting your drive:

  1. What dates would you like to hold your drive?
  2. Do you want your drive to have a theme such as "Feed Our Students"
  3. Do you have sturdy boxes or do you need to borrow some bins from the pantry?
  4. Where on campus will you be holding your drive?
  5. How will you let people know about your drive?
  6. Who will deliver the food to the pantry and how will they accomplish this? 
  1. Plan Ahead
    1. Select a coordinator or committee
    2. Determine your drive's length
    3. Contact the FGCU Campus Food Pantry to let us know your plans
  2. Basics to consider
    1. Determine the number of pounds you wish to collect
    2. Promote your Drive
      1. Follow the proper FGCU guidelines to receive approval to advertise and hold your food drive on campus
      2. Two weeks before your drive, hang posters, pass out flyers, use social media to inform people that you are holding a food drive to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry
      3. List the types of food that are needed as per the CFP web-site
    3. Contact the pantry two weeks prior for plastic bins if needed (have back-up for containers in the event none are available to borrow)
    4. Make it fun and simple to participate
      1. Be creative and use existing resources: any sturdy box can be decorated
      2. Place containers in an approved and convenient high traffic area
    5. Create fun competitions
      1. Create categories - Pasta, "Any Bean but a Green Bean
      2. Themed - Major vs. Major, Department vs. Department
  3. Celebrate your success and deliver donations to the Campus Food Pantry

Thank you for your interest in coordinating a canned food drive! 

We need some information from you so we can help make your food drive as successful as possible. Please click on the registration form and answer all the questions.

After you submit your form, via email to slloyd@fgcu.edu, you will get a confirmation.  Please read “What is a Food Drive” for additional information if you want to start planning right away.

A few notes and considerations for holding food drives:

  1. You need to follow University guidelines for posting of flyers, tabling, and holding events.  Submit University approval forms to CFP staff.
     
  2. Do not hold food drives on campus grass or lawns.
     
  3. In order to hold a food drive, supported by the Campus Food Pantry, the drive must be held on campus and acknowledged in advance of the actual drive.
     
  4. The Campus Food Pantry Logo and printed materials can only be used with prior permission from CFP staff.  Contact us for official logo.
     
  5. Please ensure that any food collected is non-perishable, un-opened and commercially packaged.  GLASS containers are discouraged.
     
  6. If you use donation bins or barrels, belonging to the CFP, you will be responsible for picking them up, signing for them, and returning all containers in a timely fashion at the end of your food drive.
     
  7. For larger donations of 1,000 lbs. or more, we MIGHT be able to arrange for pick up if scheduled at least a week in advance.  We cannot navigate steps or grass to pick-up food.
     
  8. Food deliveries should be made a half hour before the pantry opens for clients so as not to interfere with the operation of the pantry.   Check web-site for current hours.
     
  9. This is not a comprehensive list and is not meant to answer all of your questions or concerns.  Please contact the Campus Food Pantry at 239-745-FOOD (3663) or slloyd@fgcu.edu if you have questions or need clarification of the above information or registration form found on our web-site.

 

Recipe Corner

Find easy recipes for items commonly found in the Campus Food Pantry.