Student-run food pantry adds toiletries, feminine hygiene products to inventory

Media Credit: Akash Pamarthy | Photographer

Grant Nilson, the vice president of The Store, said staff decided to stock more personal items after noticing that personal products were running out quickly.

Students can now pick up toiletries and hygiene products from GW’s student-run pantry.

Grant Nilson, the vice president of The Store, said the pantry now offers toiletries like shampoo, soap and toothbrushes and feminine hygiene products, like tampons and pads. Nilson said The Store previously received the products as outside donations, but he and fellow executive board members decided to personally stock the toiletries after noticing that necessities like tampons and pads quickly ran out.

“The Store was started to fight food insecurity, but that’s part of a larger affordability issue here on campus and D.C. in general,” Nilson said. “Whatever we can do to lower the cost of living, that’s something I think that we should try and do.”

The Store now bulk orders the least expensive versions of the toiletries from Amazon, he said.

Mira Zelle, The Store’s director of shopper experience, said students who visit The Store usually fill out a feedback form before leaving, rating their experience and requesting store operators to stock certain items. She said about one out of every five respondents this academic year has requested that The Store stock sanitary products, like pads and tampons.

The Store also added a gluten-free shelf last academic year in response to student requests.

“If it’s something that people need, and it’s something that we’re able to provide for them, there’s not really a reason why we shouldn’t,” Zelle said.

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