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Spartans of UD - Jess Lonergan

By University Relations Staff

Spartans of UD highlights what makes the University of Dubuque special - the people.

Jess Lonergan, of Northampton, United Kingdom, is a senior psychology major. She volunteers at the University of Dubuque Food Share Co-Op - a free grocery source located on the lower level of Peters Commons for students, faculty, staff, and community members in need. The Food Share Co-Op is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday during the spring semester.

What inspired you to volunteer at the University of Dubuque Food Share Co-Op?

"I was inspired to volunteer at the University of Dubuque Food Share Co-Op after learning about how often college students experience food insecurity through my psychology classes. Additionally, I have used the Food Share Co-Op myself and appreciated it so much as a resource that I decided I wanted to give back and help out in any way I could."

Can you share some of your responsibilities as a volunteer?

"Some of my responsibilities as a volunteer are to greet people when they come to the Food Share Co-Op, direct them if it is their first time visiting, and assist them with Campus Groups sign-ins or regular paper sign-ins. Another responsibility we have as a volunteer is to keep the place clean and tidy by restocking shelves or tidying any shelves where stock has been taken from."

What do you want visitors to the University of Dubuque Food Share Co-Op to know?

"I would like visitors to know that the Food Share Co-Op is a really great resource to use. Food insecurity is something that affects a large number of college students and also general people in the community, so we should be so grateful that UD provides us with this. We are also always looking for volunteers and donations too if you can help out."

How has your experiences as a volunteer impacted you?

"My experience as a volunteer has definitely opened my eyes as to how many people in our community, as well as students, are in need of food resources. It also showed me that using a place that provides free food is not something that should be stigmatized, and the stigma is definitely reducing. Since I started volunteering, I have seen more and more people using the Food Share Co-Op."

For those interested in supporting the University of Dubuque Food Share Co-Op, are there certain types of donations that are most needed?

"Any and all donations are appreciated at the Food Share Co-Op. However, it would be nice to get some hygiene items, especially sanitizing wipes, donated to us that we could provide to the community. In terms of food, it would be great to get some granola bars, canned or fresh fruit, and any type of grab and go meal donated as these are definitely the most needed. Anything that anyone is able to donate will be greatly appreciated!"