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The Market

AU's Food Pantry

The Market & Food Insecurity Initiatives

What is the Market?

Students should never go hungry or skip meals because they can’t afford enough to eat. To assist students who are facing food insecurity, AU offers the Market Food Pantry, providing free groceries and limited personal-care items to all students in need. The Market is stocked once per week to the best of our ability, with fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. The Market is designed as a supplemental source of food, not a primary source.

The market is solely donation based. Therefore, its resources are limited to the amount of produce or monetary donations American University receives directly to this fund. Donations are greatly appreciated as student needs have elevated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, and more. Want to donate? Find a list of items the AU Market needs in the FAQ, or donate now using our Amazon Wishlist.

How do I access the Market?

Every student, incoming and returning, must fill out our new Intake Form for the Fall semester. Student access is need blind, and students will be asked to self-assess their level of food insecurity when seeking access. Once confirmed, users may access The Market via their AU OneCard during its open hours. The Market will reopen for the Fall semester on August 28 with the following regular hours: Mondays 12 - 7 pm, Wednesdays 12 - 7 pm and Fridays 11 am - 4 pm.

To ensure that resources are available to as many students as possible, users may shop once per week, and may take on one (1) bag for their individual use. Please follow the market guidelines while shopping.

Students with needs that go beyond occasional food insecurity should reach out to the Dean of Students office, financial aid, or local resources listed in our FAQ at the bottom of this page.

Request Market Access 


Dry good donations? You can drop off dry goods whenever convenient for you in the box outside of MGC 308.

Refrigerated donations? Please donate when The Market is open. This way, The Market staff can ensure that these items are stored appropriately.

Want to financially support The Market? This is the best way to help, so please click the donation button to the right (or at the bottom of the page on mobile devices).

A gift of an Airlie Berkshire Farm Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) share will provide 8-10 pounds of fresh produce a week to the Market that can be used to support several students. A gift of $325.00 will support a nine-week share in either summer or fall for the Market Pantry. A gift of $625.00 will support an eighteen-week summer and fall share for the Market Pantry. You can also give any amount you can towards this important effort, which will be combined with other gifts received from this effort to support the purchase of CSA shares for the Market Pantry. To donate to this program, click the donation button to the right (or at the bottom of the page on mobile devices).

Follow us on Instagram: @themarketatAU, and check out our FAQ at the bottom of this page.

If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback, please email

Eagles Helping Eagles

Eagles Helping Eagles is closed until the start of Fall 2023. Stay informed through our website and social media.

When requesting Market access, students can also request meal swipes from Eagles Helping Eagles, which provides extra meal swipes to students facing food insecurity. Unused meal swipes are donated by current AU students at the end of each semester and provided to others as available.

Want to help? Students may donate up to five (5) meal swipes at the end of each semester. When the donation process is open, which is typically the last week of the semester, information about the process is shared with the campus community. The donation button (below) is active only during the end-of-semester donation period.

Graduating students may also donate their remaining Eagle Bucks to support the Market through the donation button below. Seniors can donate Eagle Bucks until June 15.

Donate Meal Swipes  Donate Eagle Bucks 

Request Meal Swipes

Students may request a limited number of meal swipes (on the same form as Market access) to be used at any dining location on campus, except Starbucks. Please understand they are not always available, as they depend on the number of meal swipes donated. Swipes are allocated when available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Questions about meal swipes? Reach out to

More About Meal Swipes

The Eagles Helping Eagles Program is a part of AU’s effort to support students experiencing food insecurity. The program’s success depends on unused meal swipe donations from students. It is not intended to provide the only source of food for students experiencing food insecurity. This program is intended to be used in emergency situations only, and in conjunction with The Market, which remains open to all students.

The number of meal swipes available for reallocation as part of the Eagles Helping Eagles program each semester depends on the number of donations made to the program the prior semester. Any current student experiencing short or long-term food insecurity may complete the request form for Market access and, on the same form, request meal swipes (if available).

The following guidelines are in place:

  • Due to the significant amounts of requests received for this program, students are limited to a maximum of 12 meal swipes over the course of the academic year if approved. This will ensure AU can meet the needs of students experiencing food insecurity.  
  • Students with an active meal plan with remaining swipes should not request emergency meal swipes from the Eagle Helping Eagles Program.
  • The number of meal swipes allotted depends on availability at the time of the request. 
  • Please allow 4-5 business days for the request to be evaluated. If approved, meal swipes will be added to your OneCard and can be used as part of the regular on-campus dining program.
  • Meal swipes are meant to supplement the food available at The Market, AU's food pantry, which remains open to all students experiencing food insecurity.

Questions? Email

Food Insecurity at American University FAQ

To operate a sustainable, donations-based program, we have implemented new AU Market shopping guidelines:

  1. The AU Market has been updated to reflect the allowable amounts of food items shoppers may to take per week. To equitably serve each of our shoppers, it is critical that you abide by the signs indicating the quantity of each item you can take while you shop.
  2. The AU Market is moving to a staffed model to assist with product management. The AU Market staff can assist you with answering questions and collect feedback about items you would like to see in the future.
  3. Your AU ID will only work to provide entry during the times the AU Market is staffed. Please review the hours of operations above.
  4. All AU Market shoppers must scan their AUID card at the door of MGC 308, even if the door is open. This will help us understand overall use of the AU Market and continue to improve the experience for our community.
  5. Students may shop at the AU Market only once per week and are limited to one grocery bag per shopping experience. We encourage our shoppers to bring their own reusable shopping bags in support of the University’s sustainability efforts.

Food Security

  • High food security (old label=Food security): no reported indications of food-access problems or limitations.
  • Marginal food security (old label=Food security): one or two reported indications—typically of anxiety over food sufficiency or shortage of food in the house. Little or no indication of changes in diets or food intake.

Food Insecurity

  • Low food security (old label=Food insecurity without hunger): reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake.
  • Very low food security (old label=Food insecurity with hunger): reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.

Those who identify with having very low to marginal food security can request access to the Market.

You do not need to demonstrate need. We hope you use integrity to be honest with your need so we can support as many students as possible.

We ask that each shopper only visit The Market once a week during open hours.

The types of food available will vary depending on donations and availability. We offer non-perishable items like canned goods, pasta, rice, and cereal, as well as fresh produce, dairy products, and meat when available. We are also trying to grow our gluten-free section.

The AU Market has been updated to reflect the allowable amounts of food items shoppers may to take per week. To equitably serve each of our shoppers, it is critical that you abide by the signs indicating the quantity of each item you can take while you shop.

Students may shop at the AU Market only once per week and are limited to one grocery bag per shopping experience. We encourage our shoppers to bring their own reusable shopping bags in support of the University’s sustainability efforts.

You can donate either monetarily or give non-expired food or toiletry items. Examples of what we need are listed below, or you can order now using our Amazon Wishlist.

  • Suggested categories could include but not be limited to the following:
    • Breakfast Items (cereals, oatmeal, breakfast bars, Pop-Tarts, etc.)
    • Healthy Snacks (granola bars, protein bars, etc.)
    • Pasta (Easy to make pastas such as mac and cheese, ramen, etc.)
    • Heat & Eat items (rice, lentils, etc.)
    • Canned Goods (soups, veggies, fruit)
    • Nut butters (peanut butter, almond butter, etc.)
    • Jellies and Spreads
    • Non-dairy milks (shelf stable: soy, almond, oat, etc.)
    • Sauces, Seasoning, and Condiments
    • Baking Items (Cooking Oils, Vinegars, etc.)
    • Nuts and Seeds
    • Paper Goods (napkins/paper towels)
    • Instant coffee packets
    • Teas
    • Toiletries: toothpaste, soap, deodorant, period products, etc.
    • Gluten free items
    • Seasonal items: soups and chilis (best given between November and February), holiday favorites (items such as boxes of stuffing, or other holiday favorites are nice near those days)

Esther Philip, Associate Director for Student Engagement at

The Market: AU's Food Pantry

Hours & Location

Mary Graydon Center, Rm. 308

Mondays, 12 - 7 pm
Wednesdays, 12 - 7 pm
Fridays, 11 am - 4 pm

support for personal difficulty, medical leave, resources, working with faculty and more

Experiencing Food Insecurity?

If your needs go beyond the resources available at The Market, please reach out to the Dean of Students office!

Find Support

Click here to donate to the Market
Airlie Berkshire Farms & The Market, Click Here to Donate