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Diana Frewen, history junior, shops for a few snacks in Mom’s Pantry, which offers food especially for students living on campus. It is located in the Commons Area Food Court in University Center North.

Diana Frewen, history junior, shops for a few snacks in Mom’s Pantry, which offers food especially for students living on campus. It is located in the Commons Area Food Court in University Center North.

Dining and Conference Services opened up a small grocery during the first week of the fall semester.

The grocery, called Mom’s Pantry, is located in the Commons Area Food Court in University Center North. It’s adjacent to the cash register.

It’s a small store with a limited selection of items. Mom’s Pantry does offer soup, crackers, chips and various snacks.

Ernest Gionis, director of Dining and Conference Services, said this has been in the works since summer. He said it’s meant to be handy for all of the students.

“It’s the convenience of it,” Gionis said. “Students don’t want to run down to Kroger to pick something up. They can just stay on campus.”

He also said it will be especially useful for students living on campus. Those students could pick food up during the day and prepare it later that night, after the food court closes.

That’s one reason why Mom’s Pantry opened along with student housing.

Shane May, nursing freshman, said he’s glad it is now a part of the campus.

“There’s more selection now,” May said. “The size of the bags is bigger than normal and the prices aren’t that bad.”

On the other hand, some of the prices are not as low as the Kroger located on Grant Line Road. Almost all of the same items there are cheaper by comparison.

Gionis said Kroger buys in mass quantities. That allows them to price everything cheaper than IU Southeast. The cost of goods is higher for Mom’s Pantry as a result.

However, the items could be more expensive. The company providing the food offers all IU schools special pricing and bundles. IU Southeast is no exception.

The company providing the food is F. McConnell and Sons, Inc.

Diana Frewen, history junior, said paying more money may not be a bad thing.

“I understand it’s tough to pay more for food,” Frewen said, “but the cafeteria has a stock of perishable foods. If someone’s low on gas, they’re better to just walk here.”

Audrianna Shirley, nursing sophomore and Dining and Conference Services employee, said Mom’s Pantry has been selling OK so far.

“I think most people have just passed over the pantry,” Shirley said. “Many more people will come in when they’re used to everything, and there’s a sign up advertising it.”

Sue Platt, Dining Services supervisor, said it hasn’t caught on as quickly as she had hoped. She said there should be increased student and faculty traffic in the future.

Platt also said if there is demand for certain items, Dining and Conferencing Services could make an effort to get it in.

One upcoming item will be frozen foods. This freezer will have frozen entrees like Lean Cuisine and pizza.

A freezer was expected to be delivered by the first weeks of class, but now should be arriving sometime during September, Gionis said.

It’s not the only new addition to Dining and Conferencing Services. Gionis said a bistro should be added to the library sometime in September.

This bistro would add a deli to the already existing coffee shop. This deli will serve cold items and made-to-go orders, like the one in the food court.

Some equipment is just taking a long time to be delivered.

“Because of the slower economy, companies just aren’t manufacturing equipment as fast,” Gionis said. “They’re keeping their inventory low, which means it takes longer for us to get equipment.”

The last upcoming addition to Dining and Conferencing Services will be an online menu, Gionis said.

The addition of this menu was delayed because the Web site was temporarily shut down after an internet attack. It’s taking longer for everyone to re-group and add the menu, he said.

This online menu will feature the items sold in the Commons Area Food Court. At this time, it is not expected to have a list of the items in Mom’s Pantry.

By JOSEPH DEVER
Staff Writer
jwdever@ius.edu