Big Orange Pocket Pantry Now Open at Pendergrass Library
by Lola Alapo
February 29, 2024  •  2 minute read
Pendergrass Library Director Samantha Ward with Blake Weiss, UT Program Director for Basic Needs, during the ribbon cutting of the Pocket Pantry at Pendergrass (Photo by Shelly O’Barr, UT Libraries)

A new Big Orange Pocket Pantry opened in fall 2023 at Pendergrass Library.

The pantry is an extension of UT’s main Big Orange Pantry, which provides food and hygiene essentials to students, faculty, and staff. 

UT Libraries staff donated items to stock the Pendergrass pantry ahead of its opening.

The Pendergrass pantry allows the dean of student’s Center for Basic Needs to extend its service to students on the Institute of Agriculture campus.

“One of the things about the ag campus is that students don’t have a lot of food options for lunch and dinner,” said Brianna Smith, coordinator for basic needs operations. “When you’re hungry, it’s hard to focus. We’re so excited that students will be able to access the food when they need to.”

Two other pocket pantry locations opened in the fall—one inside the UT Free Store and a basic needs vending machine at TRECS, the Tennessee Recreation Center for Students.