Alumni Association partners with Pioneer Provisions to create Stocking the Shelves campaign

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville community is coming together to give back this holiday season by stocking the shelves at Pioneer Provisions. To help raise awareness, the UW-Platteville Alumni Association is partnering with Pioneer Provisions, a free pantry and grocery service on campus for students experiencing food insecurity. According to Stephanie Young, UW-Platteville Dining Services registered dietitian, Pioneer Provisions has seen a 22% increase of pantry users this past year.

“Our alumni have been big supporters of Pioneer Provisions. Some have reached out to donate in the past, describing a desire to help current students who are struggling,” said Young. “Collaborating with the Alumni Association helps us reach out to alumni who may not be aware that food insecurity exists at their alma mater and may be able to help.” 

“Hunger never takes any time off for the holidays,” added Aaron Athas, president of the UW-Platteville Alumni Association and 2010 UW-Platteville graduate. “Our Pioneer nation is far and wide. We recognize that a lot of our graduates and families come from Southwest Wisconsin. Raising awareness and partnering with Pioneer Provisions helps to defeat hunger.”

The Stocking the Shelves campaign runs through Jan. 1, 2022, and there are two ways to contribute: non-perishable and hygiene items can be placed under the giving tree outside the Development and Alumni Engagement Office in Ullsvik Hall, or a monetary gift can be made to Pioneer Provisions to purchase fresh produce. 

“Pioneer Provisions wouldn't exist without donations,” said Young. “The pantry has an ongoing need for all food and hygiene items to keep shelves stocked but especially for purchasing perishable items that need to be bought more frequently like fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. One of our goals is to raise $3,000 for purchases specific to those items.”

Young expressed the most needed non-perishable items include pastas and sauces, oatmeal, brown rice, soups, granola bars, popcorn and dried fruit. The most needed hygiene items are shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes and period products. 

“Pioneer Provisions helps students experiencing food insecurity, whether it's weekly grocery shopping or filling a small gap after an unexpected bill,” she said. “[Students] having access to food, and enough of it, helps alleviate the financial burden and keeps them fueled for the classroom.”

Athas hopes through alumni donations the Pioneer Provision shelves can be full throughout the year.

“For many this is the season of giving,” he said. “If life has been generous to you and you are able, give back to the campus community in one of the most direct ways to help our Southwest Wisconsin neighbors.”

To learn more about Pioneer Provisions, visit

To donate to Stocking the Shelves at Pioneer Provisions, visit