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Food for Thought food pantry

The Food for Thought Food Pantry, Resource Center, and our community partner, Good in the ‘Hood are committed to being responsive to student needs. Our services are offered in person and remotely.

The Food for Thought Pantry is made possible through a collaboration with our community partner Good in the ‘Hood. The pantry supports Metro State students and their families with access to food and resources. 

Stop in hours

The Pantry is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We operate on a food choice model and students can choose their own food items. We have also increased the number of pounds that a student can take per month to 30 pounds for a household size of 1, and if there are more members in your household the number of pounds will increase for each additional family member. The pantry has items such as rice, beans, canned fruit and vegetables, canned soup, pasta, dairy such as milk and cheese, and frozen meat and vegetables. Our inventory may vary from month to month.

Free meals

We also have teamed up with MN Central Kitchen to offer free meals for Metropolitan State University students. The meals are made by local restaurants and then provided to the Food for Thought Pantry. The meals come in single serving microwavable take-out trays and will need to be heated before consumption. Students will be able to take up to 3 or more meals per day. The meals will vary from week to week and will include one meat option and one vegetarian option.

Students may also pick up meals in the following offices on campus: Veterans Center (Founders Hall, 2nd Floor), Dean of Students Office (Founders Hall, 2nd Floor), TRIO Office (Founders Hall, Lower Level), Admissions (Founders Hall, 1st Floor) and Gateway (Founders Hall, 1st Floor).

Examples of meal options include:

  • Chicken chop suey and udon noodles
  • Falafel and roasted squash
  • Roasted herb chicken drum sticks with mac and cheese and squash
  • Pinto masala over brown rice with braised cabbage and carrots

Students can stop by the Food Pantry on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the hours of 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Food pick-up appointments

Students that are unable to stop in the pantry during the hours of operation can schedule a food box and or bag pick-up from the University Library (Saint Paul Dayton’s Bluff Campus). This option is not available at the moment, but there are plans for this to be available again beginning week of April 10.

Resource Center

The goal of the Resource Center is to support our students by connecting them with supportive community networks and resources to help mitigate barriers for student success.

The student resource center helps students with basic needs assessments and provides direct service and resources and referrals to support students in addressing their basic needs and obtaining self-sufficiency.

We connect students to community and government agencies and other partner organizations to address immediate and/or long term needs and goals.

Referrals to resources include:

  • Shelter
  • Food
  • Medical
  • Transportation
  • Emergency financial assistance
  • SNAP
  • County Programs
  • And more!

To speak with a resource coordinator, schedule a in person, phone, or zoom appointment, email

Become a Member

We ask that students complete an intake form one-time per academic school year, this will provide you access to services in addition to helpful resources and events on and off campus. If you have not yet completed an intake form, please do so here:

Students that would like to complete a paper form can email us at

Additional resources

To locate additional food resources in your community visit Hunger Solutions.

We have created a running document of helpful resources that include information for food, housing, emergency assistance, utilities, etc. This document is updated daily and can be accessed here.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): The Minnesota Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides supplemental income for purchasing food for low-income households. An eligible person or family receives an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which is used like any other debit card at the grocery store. The card uses money from a SNAP account set up for the eligible person or family to pay for food items.

Students, 18–49, attending an institution of higher education, like a college, university, trade school, or technical school more than half-time are eligible for SNAP if they meet an exemption and meet all other SNAP eligibility requirements.

As of Jan. 16, 2021, a student may be eligible if they meet one of the qualifications:

1) They are eligible to participate in state or federally financed work study during the regular school year. You school determines if you are eligible for work study


2.) They have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 0 in the current academic year (based on the FASFA- Free Application for Federal Student Aid).

Students who are interested in help with applying for SNAP benefits can fill out this form here. Your information will be kept confidential and only shared with the SNAP Outreach team at Second Harvest Heartland for application assistance follow-up.

Grievance policy

Our civil rights goal is to treat everyone with fairness and equality while receiving food at the food shelf. Discrimination is prohibited on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex, and disability in special nutrition programs funded by the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service.

This commitment is separate from both the university's student complaints and grievance policy (#3030) and the grievance policy of our partner, Good in the ’Hood. The purpose of this commitment is to provide a fair, effective, and efficient mechanism that solves any conflict at the food pantry. A clear and comprehensive effort will be applied in order to solve the issue.

The following guidelines will help the staff or volunteer to handle the situation as calmly as possible and collect the following data:

  • the reason for the complaint
  • the name of the complainant
  • the name of the staff involved
  • the name of the person to whom the complaint is made
  • the date and time of the incident
  • person(s) involved during the complaint