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FM Snack Drawer now open

September 9, 2023

The new project aims to aid those who face food insecurity

Graphic illustration of the text 'Snack Drawer'

The new FM Snack Drawer helps support employees in need.

Led by Trades Apprentice Ryan McCarthy, the FM Snack Drawer is the first step in a new program to bring attention to food insecurity both within Facilities Management as well as across Grounds.

The snack drawer — which provides nonperishable snack foods such as crackers and granola bars — is located in the Occupational Programs (OP) Training Room in FM Shop Building #1 (formerly used as the FM Lunchroom).

The program came from McCarthy's entry to the Hoos Making an Impact contest, which included a plan to decrease food waste and increase support for food insecure members of the UVA community. The trades apprentice knew that co-workers and others on Grounds struggled at times to afford the food they needed, noting that one in six Charlottesville residents are estimated to face food insecurity and a lack of access to nutritious foods.

There are several food pantries accessible on Grounds but usage among employees is currently low and McCarthy hopes to change that. The Faculty & Employee Assistance Program (FEAP) lists several programs in the area that provide food assistance.

The FM Snack Drawer hopes to address the gap between the knowledge and accessibility of available resources while also providing students, staff, and faculty with grab-and-go snacks. Maps of the food pantries on Grounds are displayed at the FM Snack Drawer location.

“The first wave of the FM Snack Drawer pilot is largely about building awareness,” said McCarthy. “Giving people a little boost during the day and making the information for greater support immediately available.”

McCarthy hopes that in the future, FM can collaborate with student groups and departments to further the already existing assistance programs, especially in terms of providing access to high-quality foods as needed.

The FM Snack Drawer is currently accepting donations of nonperishable snack foods, such as crackers, granola bars, and dried fruit and nuts. For questions concerning the FM Snack Drawer, contact

About the author

Afia Paracha
Communications assistant student worker
UVA Facilities Management