In 2013, IUPUI students conducted research regarding food pantries on college campuses. They discovered that many people were using food pantries at urban institutions.
This information led students and staff to collaborate and to lay the groundwork for Paw’s Pantry. That same year, IUPUI junior, Joe Spaulding, was asked to help start it. He states, “The staff members in charge of the program in OSI [Office of Student Involvement] approached me and asked if I wanted to help get this pantry off the ground. They approached me because of my experience working with food pantries and homeless shelters in Indianapolis. And I guess they thought I was a semi-decent leader. So I said yes!”
Joe had volunteered previously with food pantries like Third Phase in Noblesville, Indiana, and the Salvation Army downtown. His experience provided him a base-level understanding of how Paw’s Pantry should operate.