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Army ROTC’s ‘Stuff Our Rucks for Benny’s Pantry’ Makes a Huge Impact

February 12, 2024

A group of students stand next to a large pile of donations.

If you visited Fred Meyer on the first weekend in February you may have seen some ISU Army ROTC students standing at the grocery entrance asking you to “stuff their rucks” to benefit Benny’s Pantry. ROTC Cadets asked for donations on Friday evening and all day Saturday from patrons coming in and out of the store.

In that time, they received over 1,000 poinds of physical donations, including 369 pounds of canned goods, 83 pounds of peanut butter, 201 pounds of pasta, rice, flour, sugar, 17 pounds of oil, 109 pounds of dry goods, 29 pounds of water, 15 pounds of detergent, 174 rolls of toilet paper, 25 bottles of shampoo and conditioner, and 12 tubes of toothpaste. Community members didn’t just give physical donations, they also dropped money in an army hat and Cadets received $1,444.00 in cash donations that will go directly to Benny’s Pantry to use at their discretion for in demand items.

“The Stuff Our Rucks event was a fun opportunity to get out into the community and to help in a way that supports our people here at ISU” said CDT Karl Emfield, who coordinated the food drive and ruck march. “We were grateful to be able to work with Fred Meyer to get our donations for Benny's Pantry and it was wonderful to see the generosity that people had in giving us donations. Even when times are hard, people still look out for each other.”

Benny’s Pantry serves Idaho State University students, staff, and faculty and started in January 2014 as an initiative of the Student Affairs Department. The pantry offers free, emergency food assistance directly to the Idaho State University community and is staffed by Student Affairs staff members and student volunteers. 

Lesa Crawford, Director of Benny’s Pantry said “this effort and donation does so much for our patrons. It not only helps supply them with essential food and hygiene items, it is a reminder that people care. It is always clear how much this kind of support means to our patrons by their BIG "thank you's" and warm smiles after they shop at Benny's Pantry.”

To learn more about Benny’s Pantry, utilizing the pantry, or how you can help, visit https://www.isu.edu/pantry/.


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