Trojan Food Pantry Intake Form
Open to all students. You are welcome to visit us!
Updated Spring 2020 Intake Form: Register now!
What do I need to do to use the Trojan Food Pantry?
- Show volunteer staff proof of intake form completion at check-in desk.
- Give valid, student ID card to volunteer staff to swipe and verify: currently enrolled student status and not on a university meal plan.
- Select items from the Trojan Food Pantry – the number of items varies based upon inventory that day.
Location & Hours of Operation
PARKSIDE APTS. (PKS) #135
3730 S. MCCLINTOCK AVE
Regular Hours for 2019 – 2020
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays: 3:00pm – 6:00 p.m
Fridays: 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Tuesday 12/17: 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Wednesday 12/18: 3:00 – 6:00pm
Thursday 12/19: 3:00pm – 5:00pm*
Friday, 12/20: 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Tuesday 12/24 – Wednesday 1/1: Closed
Thursday 1/2: 12:00pm – 3:00pm*
Friday 1/3: 12:00pm – 3:00pm*
Tuesday 1/7 – Friday 1/10: 12:00pm – 3:00pm*
Regular hours resume January 14, 2020
*Note: Different time than usual
Should you need food during the holidays while we are closed, please contact USC Student Basic Needs at firstname.lastname@example.org and we are happy to offer assistance during that time.
CalFresh, EBT or SNAP is a food grant program in the state of California that can stretch your food resources.
For more information about CalFresh, who qualifies, and how to apply, click here. Our volunteers can help you apply and also provide supportive information about other concerns you may have. To complete your CalFresh application, click here.
To find locations that accept CalFresh within the USC Lyft area, click here
What additional resources are available?
- Crisis and Consultation Services at USC
- Trojans Care For Trojan (TC4T)
- Guide to Cal Fresh Benefits
- Nutrition Services at USC
- Free Food at USC Facebook Page
- Self-Care Resources
- Ask the Dietitian
- St. Francis Center
- Food Recovery Network
- Trojan Guardian Scholars
- University Initiative to Eliminate Homelessness
Other Food Access Resources for students:
- Students can utilize the“free food @ USC” public Facebook page to identify events on campus where free food is available
- Swipe for Hunger donations of unused meals can be accessed through student SCard IDs (Email email@example.com for more info)
- A free warm meal is available for all students on Wednesday evenings at 9:00 pm at the United University Church Fellowship Hall located at 817 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA. 90089. More information is available at: https://tinyurl.com/y8pocmq6.
- St. Francis Church food bank (https://www.stfranciscenterla.org/campaigns/family-well-being/) food distribution Wed- Sat 11-12:30
- A Community Place at St. Mark’s Church, (Vermont and 37th) firstname.lastname@example.org Mon. 11-1PM and Wed. 2-3PM
- Serve A Meal: free vegetarian food from a food truck in South Los Angeles; contact Ravinder Singh email@example.com; Jacquie Singh firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer & Donation of Food Items
Interested in Volunteering at the Trojan Food Pantry?
Anyone interested in volunteering is required to attend a training session on-site at the Trojan Food Pantry.
At these sessions, you will meet the staff who help run the pantry on a daily basis (St. Francis Center coordinator, social worker, etc.) and learn more about its operations.
Please keep in mind that this will be a weekly commitment, so your schedule will remain consistent until the end of the semester. You might not be scheduled for all of the hours you indicate, but we ask that you indicate however many shifts you are available to volunteer.
Even if you have a tight schedule, just know that we appreciate any and all help we can get – even if it’s for one shift per week!
To learn more about any volunteer opportunities, please email email@example.com
We work with our on-campus dietitian to come up with a healthy set of foods for our students. Therefore, it is vital that all food donations fit the standards within our donation guidelines.
USC Hospitality’s dietitian, Lindsey Pine MS, RDN, CSSD, CLT, has developed a list of recommended shelf-stable foods for the Trojan Food Pantry. It is vital that all food donations fit the health and nutrition standards within our donation guidelines. If you would like to connect with Lindsey, please visit https://hospitality.usc.edu/ask-the-dietitian/
These are the staple items that the USC Auxiliary Services dietitian would like to have (from the perspective of providing nutrition for optimum brain power):
- Pasta (regular and whole wheat)
- Pasta Sauce
- Brown Rice
- Shelf stable soy milk
- Shelf stable milk
- Peanut butter
- Olive oil
- Oatmeal (packets or old fashioned oats)
- Canned vegetable soup
- Canned chili
- Canned beans
- Dried beans
- Canned veggies
- Soup cups, grain/bean cups
- Generic Cheerios
*whenever possible, canned items should have pull open tops that don’t require a can opener
If you have foods that aren’t on the list that you would like to submit for review, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Trojan Food Pantry
The Trojan Food Pantry is a collaborative effort involving various campus partners spearheaded by Student Governments (USG & GSG), USC Hospitality and Student Affairs. The day-to-day operations are led by student volunteers and workers under the consultation and guidance of the St. Francis Center.
For many years, with funding from Dr. Leo Braudy, S. Bing Chair in English and American Literature, his wife Dorothy Braudy and from private donors, individual departments have provided supportive services to groups of students. Examples of support included gift card distributions, mini pantries throughout campus and a more consolidated effort in the spring of 2018 facilitated by USC Dana and David Dornsife College Office for Diversity and Strategic Initiatives and the USC Cultural Centers.
The new Trojan Food Pantry is an extension of these previous University efforts to address food insecurity on campus and will provide much needed temporary relief to those experiencing food emergencies.
Questions about the Quality and Freshness Dates
Most (but not all) food products are labeled with a specific date that indicates when the product is no longer guaranteed to be at its best. These dates are printed for quality, not safety.
According to the USDA website, the USDA estimates food loss and waste at 30 percent of the food supply lost or wasted at the retail and consumer levels2. One source of food waste arises from consumers or retailers throwing away wholesome food because of confusion about the meaning of dates displayed on the label.
Provided the food has been stored properly and is undamaged, it is safe to eat “expired” packaged foods.
What Date-Labeling Phrases are Used?
There are no uniform or universally accepted descriptions used on food labels for open dating in the United States. As a result, there are a wide variety of phrases used on labels to describe quality dates.
Examples of commonly used phrases:
- A “Best if Used By/Before” indicates when a product will be of best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
- A “Sell-By” date tells the store how long to display the product for sale for inventory management. It is not a safety date.
- A “Use-By” date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. It is not a safety date except for when used on infant formula as described below.
FAQ’s About the Trojan Food Pantry
How do I qualify for the services of the Trojan Food Pantry?
Any currently enrolled USC student who is experiencing a food emergency/food insecurity qualify for the services of the Trojan Food Pantry.
What about Faculty, Staff and non-enrolled students?
At the present time, the services of the Trojan Food Pantry are only available to any currently enrolled USC student who is experiencing a food emergency/food insecurity. Please see our Trojan Food Pantry website for links of nearby resources including St. Francis Center. If you have specific questions about resources, please email email@example.com
How often can I come and how much food can I take each visit?
Any currently enrolled USC student who is experiencing a food emergency/food insecurity may visit the Trojan Food Pantry once per week. Quantity limits are designated by posted signage inside the pantry and may vary day-to-day based on product availability and demand.
Where does the food at the Trojan Food Pantry come from?
The Trojan Food Pantry operates in partnership with the St. Francis Center, a local family and homeless services provider that rescues food from businesses in the surrounding community. Current partners include Trader Joe’s, Costco, Target, and Numero Uno Markets. Rescued food is sorted for quality by volunteers and stocked daily. Additional food product is purchased using donated funds from individuals and organizations as well as rescued/donated food from within the USC community.
Can I eat items past the labeled dates? Is it safe?
“Sell by”, “Use by”, “Best buy”, “Expired by” and “Enjoy by” dates are arbitrary dates set by the manufacturers and are not indicators of food safety. The dates are solely for the purposes of designating the freshness of the product. All labeled items are inspected by staff and volunteers to ensure no visible spoilage is evident before being stocked for distribution.
With the exception of baby formula, the date labels on food products are not federally regulated. Provided the food has been stored properly and is undamaged, it is safe to eat “expired” packaged foods.
The Trojan Food Pantry follows proper guidelines for food distribution based on current USDA guidelines. These shelf life guidelines can be found on USDA’s “FoodKeeper” app and some are posted inside the food pantry.
Is it safe to use food from dented cans?
According to the USDA, if a can containing food has a small dent, but is otherwise in good shape, the food is safe to eat. Deeply dented cans should be discarded. A deep dent is one that you can lay your finger into and often have sharp points. A sharp dent on either the top or side seam can damage the seam and allow bacteria to enter the can.
How can I volunteer to help at the Trojan Food Pantry?
USC student volunteers are always welcome to help out at the Trojan Food Pantry. Volunteers may sign up for one or multiple two hour shifts during operational hours. Volunteers will receive an orientation on their first day and will be required to complete a brief online food handlers certification training via ServSafe.
Interested volunteers should email the Trojan Food Pantry staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does partnering with the St. Francis Center take away food resources from the local community?
USC is part of the local community and we realize that some members of our student community benefit tremendously from the resources of the Trojan Food Pantry.
Last year, St. Francis Center rescued 1.3 million pounds of food which allowed them to provide 130,000 homeless meals (more than double what was served five years ago) and over 18,000 grocery visits to families struggling with food insecurity within the local community – that’s more than ever in its 45-year history. Now with food donations from USC, the USC Village (Trader Joe’s) and several other new food partners, St. Francis is on track to rescue almost 1.5 million pounds of food a year! Through food recovery efforts and partnerships, the community and our students all benefit.
How else can I get involved with food rescue efforts?
Food rescue is the act of saving wholesome food that would otherwise go to waste from places like grocery stores, restaurants, markets, and dining facilities and getting it to those in need. It’s a great way to cut down on food waste and help others at the same time. For additional information, click here.
Throughout its history, the University of Southern California has relied on the generosity of alumni, friends, corporations, and foundations that endorse the university’s mission of excellence. This support has played a vital role in propelling USC into the front ranks of the world’s premier private research institutions. Now, more than ever, philanthropic funding is essential to sustain this important legacy.
The reasons for making a gift to USC are personal and varied. Perhaps you are grateful for your USC experience and want to give something back. Maybe you would like to leave a legacy to benefit future Trojans for generations to come. Perhaps you feel passionate about supporting an important cause, such as cutting-edge research or the development of new technology. Or you may wish to take advantage of the tax benefits of making a gift to the Trojan Food Pantry.
If you would like to support the day-to-day operation of the Trojan Food Pantry and wish to use your credit card, click here
If you would like to mail in your donation, please make checks payable to:
USC Trojan Food Pantry
3607 Trousdale Parkway, SKS 410
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3103
Thank you for your support.