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New food lockers at the University of Pittsburgh will make grocery and meal delivery more convenient — and help address food insecurity.
Located in the Litchfield Towers residence hall (3990 Fifth Ave.), the passcode-protected, climate-controlled lockers are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Getting meals delivered there from Pitt’s dining establishments is as easy as logging into Pitt Eats’ Transact Mobile Ordering app.
While the introduction of food lockers makes food delivery more convenient, they also double as a place for Pitt community members in need to access free meals and reduce food waste. The initiative is partially funded by a $60,000 PA Hunger-Free Campus grant, submitted in partnership with Student Affairs, and is designated to expand access to food options, create awareness and upgrade facilities.
“We’re focused on human impact, and it’s our mission to make sure students have the resources they need to be healthy,” said Julie Bannister, Pitt’s assistant vice chancellor for auxiliary services.
Nonperishable food items, fresh produce and extra meals from The Eatery will be packed and delivered by the Pitt Eats team to the food lockers daily. Students who already visit the Pitt Pantry for nutritional support can access the free meals by ordering food the way their peers do via the Transact Mobile Ordering app.
The University’s latest efforts to support students evolved from a 2022 pilot program led by the student club Food Recovery Heroes and Pitt Pantry to redistribute excess food from Pitt’s dining facilities to local hunger-fighting organizations, said Bannister.
“What we’re doing with the food lockers is an example of inter-campus synergy,” she said. “We’re all working with the common goal of battling food insecurity.”
— Nichole Faina, photography by Chartwells
More sustainable and equitable dining
Building food systems that support a healthy body and healthy planet are a vital part of the Pitt Sustainability Plan. In addition to reducing food waste, the University is working to serve more plant-forward meals, deploy more reusable containers and support local- and community-based suppliers.
Additionally, resources like Pitt Pantry and the Emergency Meal Assistant Program help make sure students don’t go hungry. Forbes Street Market, which helped increase access to groceries in the Oakland neighborhood, also accepts SNAP funds. Learn more about food access at Pitt.