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Pete’s Pantry Q & A with Brian Blevins

Monday, February 19, 2024

Pete’s Pantry addresses food insecurity in the Cowboy population and is here to alleviate the stress that may come with acquiring resources to meet your basic needs. We met with Brian Blevins, coordinator of basic needs at Pete’s Pantry, to answer a few of our questions!

Q: What is Pete’s Pantry and how did it get started?

A: Pete’s Pantry is OSU's on-campus food resource center. In the summer of 2021, I was brought into the project which was already a year or two in the making. This was something the Student Government Association saw a need for, so they started a pop-up pantry in their conference room, but we were looking for more of a brick-and-mortar place on campus. So, the former director of campus life started working with Our Daily Bread, which is Stillwater’s food resource center, on a partnership to create a pantry on campus. Through that partnership, we were able to open Pete’s Pantry in February 2022. That first month we saw 70 total shoppers come through. We’ve now had individual days that have had 90 customers. In our busiest month, we had 638 total shoppers. We’ve grown significantly.

Q: For students who visit the pantry, is there a limit to the items available to them?

A: How our system works is they can take one item per section, and we have 13 different shelf-stable sections, as well as our produce and bread, and one item from our fridge and freezer. They can also come up to twice a month. If we see someone come more than twice a month, we try not to turn them away; that’s not the goal of Pete’s Pantry. But if we see that this resource isn’t meeting some of those needs then we try to connect them with Our Daily Bread so they can get additional resources.

Q: Is the pantry open over breaks such as spring and summer break?

A: Yes, we try to keep some hours of operation at all times. The only times we don’t operate under our usual hours is if the Student Union closes. During breaks, we may reduce hours due to staffing.

Q: The pantry has a few different partners. What do these relationships look like?

A: A lot of those partners were very integral in the startup of Pete’s Pantry. Women for OSU gave us a grant that helped us with a lot of the infrastructure and Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity donated money to help purchase our fridge and freezer. Our Daily Bread provides a significant donation to put food on our shelves. We also have various donations through alumni and the OSU Foundation.

Q: What are some statistics on food insecurity at OSU?

A: The most recent number we have shows about 49.7% of OSU students have some level of food insecurity. Those numbers were one of the reasons SGA wanted to create this pantry. In the past year [2023], we have had 4,524 visits to the pantry.

Q: What would you like to inform OSU students about regarding the pantry?

A: Sometimes students have a hesitation towards accessing Pete’s Pantry because they don’t want to take food away from someone else in need. As commendable as that thought is, it’s not true. No matter how many students walk through Pete’s Pantry’s door, we will always put more food on the shelves. If you feel like you need help, don’t hesitate to stop by. 

Pete’s Pantry is available to OSU students, faculty and staff. All it requires is a valid OSU ID. You can find the pantry in the Student Union basement, room 042. Find additional details on the pantry’s website. Have specific questions? Email

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