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SUNY Erie and FeedMore WNY Collaborate to Open Pantry Locations on Campus

Article by: Paula Sandy

BUFFALO— SUNY Erie Community College (SUNY Erie) and FeedMore WNY (formerly the Food Bank of WNY and Meals on Wheels for WNY) have announced the opening of a food pantry location at SUNY Erie’s City Campus located at 121 Ellicott Street in Buffalo. SUNY Erie is the first college in the region to partner with FeedMore WNY for an on-campus food pantry through its School Pantry Program. FeedMore WNY’s School Pantry Program also serves students and their families through pantries at five area high schools. 

The goal of the campus pantries is to provide widespread and immediate access to food for students who may be struggling to feed themselves and their families. 

“Hunger insecurity has been a growing problem at Colleges across the country in recent years,” said Dr. Dan Hocoy, President of SUNY Erie. “As students struggle with the costs of paying their monthly bills in addition to a college education, they often choose to sacrifice their nutritional needs to make ends meet. Opening food pantries on our campuses is another avenue we are using to support our students in their efforts to achieve a college degree.”

FeedMore WNY’s outreach to the educational community is a logical step to ensuring to that individuals and families facing hunger issues in Western New York have another avenue for support.

“It is a heartbreaking reality that so many college students in our community and across our nation struggle with hunger. We believe that access to healthy food should never be a barrier to receiving an education, and we are pleased to partner with SUNY Erie to launch our first on-campus college pantry through our School Pantry Program,” Tara A. Ellis, president and CEO of FeedMore WNY, said. “We hope that this pantry is the beginning of many more similar partnerships for FeedMore WNY as our community works together to solve the crisis of hunger on college campuses and feed our hungry neighbors of all ages.” 

On-site pantry staff will take students through an intake process to determine household size and the ages of all individuals living in the home. Students will then “shop” in the pantry to ensure they are provided with adequate food to sustain their household. The SUNY Erie Pantries are coordinated through the SUNY Erie One Stop Career Centers.

This collaboration was born from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s mandate to provide stigma-free access to food on SUNY campuses, as well as the SUNY-wide initiative to address hunger insecurity among college students. 

The City Campus pantry is currently stocked with non-perishable items like grains and proteins in addition to baby food. Perishable items including fruits and vegetables will be introduced in the next few weeks.

The City Campus food pantry, which is located in Room 145 in the Old Post Office Building, will be open on Mondays from 12-4pm and Thursdays from 9am-1:30pm. Additional pantries will open at SUNY Erie’s North and South Campuses in the next few months. The pantries are open to members of the community in addition to SUNY Erie students.

 

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