Frequently Asked Questions

What is food insecurity? Is it present at Iowa State?

Food insecurity is the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. According to ISU Student Wellness, an estimated 31% of ISU students are food insecure. More food security resources can be found on the ISU Student Wellness website

How does SHOP stay stocked?

The majority of the food in SHOP is purchased with money donated through the ISU Foundation or from grants or other donations. SHOP is partnered with the Food Bank of Iowa and receives biweekly deliveries and supplements with purchases from the Ames Fareway on opposite weeks. SHOP also accepts nonperishable food donations from food drives put on within the ISU and Ames community.

When will SHOP be restocked?

We purchase a large amount of food from the Food Bank of Iowa that is delivered on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month, usually in the afternoon. On weeks that we do not have a Food Bank delivery we purchase food from Fareway, and it is delivered on Wednesday mornings. For safety reasons, SHOP is not open during restocking hours and visitors will not be able to enter SHOP while deliveries are being put away.

What can I find in SHOP?

We strive to keep SHOP stocked with an assortment of nutritious fresh, frozen, and refrigerated foods from a variety of cultures. We also stock several different personal hygiene items including paper products and soaps.

Who can visit SHOP?

SHOP is for ISU students. People without an ISU student ID will not be allowed into Beyer Hall due to the requirement that all visitors must swipe their ISU ID at the front desk. 

What does a visit to SHOP look like?

Visitors to SHOP are required to scan a student ID at the entrance of Beyer Hall to ensure that they are an ISU student or associated with an ISU student. Visitors can come to SHOP during any of our open hours and pick out whatever they would like from the shelves. Once they have chosen everything they want, a volunteer will weigh, count, and bag the items while the visitor fills out a short form. The service is completely confidential.

Why do visitors have to fill out a form?

In order for SHOP to purchase high demand items like meats, dairy, and eggs from the Food Bank of Iowa we are required to have all visitors fill out a short form from the USDA. This form records the demographics of SHOP visitors to ensure that SHOP remains eligible to receive USDA products. The known demographics of ISU students already meet the guidelines placed by the USDA, however the form is still required. Visitors only need to fill out the form once a year and can do so on the iPad in SHOP while the volunteer bags their items for them. The form requires visitors to list a name, an address, a number of people in the household, and a household income. The form can be viewed here.

Why does SHOP record data?

We keep track of the amount of items and total weight of everything moving in and out of SHOP in order to have up to date information for things like grant applications. 

How does SHOP operate?

SHOP is a student organization that consists of an executive team, committees, and volunteers. SHOP also partnered with ISU Student Wellness in order to have access to opportunities not available to regular student organizations, such as the ability to be open during university breaks.

Is SHOP open when class is not in session?

Yes, SHOP is open during university breaks. SHOP is not open on university holidays. 

How long has SHOP been around?

SHOP was founded in 2011 by the FSHN Transfer Learning Community as a result of a class project on food insecurity. 

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