News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

December 16, 2013 — Vol. 29 No. 40

Benny's Pantry to Open in January

Benny's Pantry, an initiative within the Student Affairs division of Idaho State University, will open in January 2014 in the Pond Student Union Room 120 on the Pocatello campus.

The pantry will distribute non-perishable foods in an effort to help relieve the food insecurity where it may exist in the ISU community. Food insecurity is defined as not having access to adequate nutritious food or not knowing if there will be adequate food for a next meal. Benny's Pantry will be managed by the Idaho State University LEAD Center for Orientation, Leadership and Service and staffed with trained volunteers.

Operational hours for spring semester 2014 are: Mondays noon-2 p.m.and 4-6 p.m.; Wednesdays 4-6 p.m.; and Fridays noon-2 p.m. During operational hours, clients may use their Bengal ID to shop the pantry without disclosing personal financial information.

Donations will be accepted during the operational hours of either Benny's Pantry or the Campus Connection desk inside the Pond Student Union. Donations of large quantities may be pre-arranged with the LEAD Center by phone by calling 208-282-2973, or emailing To make cash donations to the program contact the ISU Foundation at 208-282-3470.

This December, ISU student organizations, with the support of the Associated Students of Idaho State University (ASISU), will compete in a food collection drive to help Benny's Pantry open with a highly stocked inventory. Faculty, staff and Pocatello community members interested in donating non-perishable food items in advance of the opening may do so at the Campus Connection desk inside the Pond Student Union.

The idea for the pantry was conceived by ISU First Lady Laura Vailas, a registered dietitian and expert in food insecurity.

"Hunger and food insecurity are often invisible," Vailas said. "But we know there are students and staff who could use the help Benny's Pantry will provide. We don't want parents going hungry so their children can eat or anyone lacking adequate, wholesome food."