COVID has thrown APSU for a loop and taken the campus into unprecedented times.
One of the centers on campus, Center for Service–Learning & Community Engagement, has had to change it up and contend with COVID restrictions. Center director, Alexandra Wills, and the rest of the staff has been working diligently to ensure the center is keeping everyone safe.
“Our staff is very small, so we have remained mostly 100% on campus through the summer months. Being flexible and keeping a sense of humor has been key to our spirits high during this time,” she said.
The SOS Food Pantry has moved to online ordering only and the center is open limited hours.
“This [online ordering] allows students to access food via an online list and then choose a pickup time. Students drive up to the food pantry building, pop their trunk, and their order is placed into the vehicle. This system ensures social distancing and safe way for students to access food. If a student has tested positive for COVID, delivery is an option if the student lives within 7 miles of campus. We deliver on and off campus on Mondays,” Wills said.
She adds, “We have temporarily halted access to our Green room which offers gently used business casual clothing, furniture, books, and household items. Our pantry is dedicated to meeting food safety protocols as well as CDC guideline to prevent the spread of COVID 19.”
Students, both working or getting food have had to make the adjustments as well.
“Overall, we have seen a small decrease in pantry usage due to the smaller number of students in the area with remote learning. We did not allow any students to volunteer with us over the summer, which kept us busy making up for their absence. This fall we are allowing one volunteer at a time into our food pantry and we require students to wear masks and gloves while volunteering for everyone’s safety,” she said.
The center’s popular Alternative Break Trips are also being affected by the new COVID protocols.
“We are hoping to being back our traditional alternative break experience in summer 2021, depending on the academic calendar for spring 2021. We will bring trips back, but we will focus on more outdoor, environmental trips that are not located in urban areas for the foreseeable future,” she said.
If you or anyone you know is interested in ordering online from the pantry, head over to https://apsu.edu/volunteer/sos-food-pantry/index.php