For the last three years, a UC Merced staff member has worked with the regional food bank to rescue food from the local farmers market each week to get items to those in need. When the coronavirus pandemic first hit, the farmers market was forced to move locations and UC Merced’s partnership with the food bank became challenging. Finding itself with surplus food and facing an ever-increasing food insecurity rate in the area, UC Merced partnered with a local community garden to start the Pop-Up People’s Pantry, which serves fresh, free food to the community every Saturday. The pantry was an instant success, serving an average of 35 people per week. Community members also began donating surplus produce from their gardens as the weeks wore on.