Ram Pantry Expired Food, Don’t Sweat It

The Ram Pantry is an essential student resource, it provides food, snacks, and even hygiene items free of charge for currently enrolled Fresno City College students. 

Each student is allowed to take up to eight items per day from the Pantry which is located next to the bookstore building. Supplied based on donations from places like Target, Catholic Charities and Poverello House. Opened Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Wednesdays 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.. 

The Pantry offers various foods such as milk, chips, canned food and pasta. Some students have brought to light the fact that expired foods have left the Pantry in the hands of patrons, but is it really as bad as it sounds? After all, shouldn’t individuals be responsible for checking the dates?     

Why get mad that some, not all, food at the Pantry has expired? You should consciously be thinking of checking it.

When you go shopping for clothes you don’t just ignore the price of whatever you’re getting, it should be the same with food. Instead of checking for a price just check for the expiration date and then nothing is lost.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the expiration of foods refers to its quality, not its safety. Federal regulations do not require expiration dates on meat, poultry, dairy, cans and boxed foods. 

However, federal regulations do require expiration dates on infant formula, but FCC does not distribute infant formula in observation of the law.

Why should the Pantry be pressured if there are no laws being broken?

Kyreese Bailey, a Ram Pantry employee, has been attending FCC as an art major for two years. Bailey says he sees the positive side of the food helping people, especially the homeless, who attend the pantry frequently. 

“Some of them care, some don’t, some are just happy to get food.”

Bailey says the Pantry has a process that they follow notifying them what foods they can hand out. Although they do their best to limit the amounts of expired food on the counter, it can be quite challenging.

When asked, Bailey recommends students still visit the Pantry. “I would just say for the customers who come to the Ram Pantry, just be super cautious and remember it’s free.”

According to FCC, the Pantry serves over 3,400 patrons every month. That’s 3,400 people who don’t have to go hungry.

In the end, shouldn’t we be grateful we receive something rather than nothing?