Upgrades to SUNY food pantry create access to basic needs

Pictured is the SUNY Fredonia Food Pantry.

The State University of New York at Fredonia was awarded a SUNY Food Insecurity Support Grant, allowing the university to expand its small basic food pantry into a full basic needs center.

The Fredonia Campus Food Pantry was created in the fall of 2016 as a pilot project and has grown to two locations serving hundreds of students each month. Although a successful program which has served the campus community well over the past seven years, the university notes it is not without challenges. Functioning strictly on donations, all monies are dedicated to the purchase of food.

In alignment with the campus’ strategic plan, the food pantry not only provides a basic necessity for survival, it promotes wellness and wellbeing of the campus community. With supplemental funding from a SUNY Food Insecurity Support Grant, the campus has been able to increase awareness of food insecurity on the SUNY Fredonia campus while allowing more accessibility to the distribution of nutritious food to students in need in a safe barrier free environment while aligning with Fredonia’s baccalaureate goals. Those goals encourage students to be responsible, skilled, creative and connected as well as the Five S’ (Staff, Students, Space, Stock and Support) of what SUNY pantries and basic needs centers need to succeed.

Food insecurity is common at colleges and universities across the country potentially impacting the educational success of many students.

Director of Student Health Deborah Dibble noted, “Providing the necessary support systems to ensure student success, prioritizing and promoting diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging are equally as important as students strive to become life-long learners in a diverse and ever-changing world. Food insecurity is a major concern for everyone, and SUNY Fredonia is taking an active role in creating a campus culture of well-being to improve the overall quality of life for our students.”

According to the American College Health Association, health promotion enhances student success and is a vital aspect of the health and well-being of the campus community. SUNY Fredonia’s food pantry/basic needs center has engaged in several outreach programming experiences for not only students but for the campus community.

— Health Matters Series — The Health Matters Series was offered weekly, providing information on pertinent health related topics aligning with the current Thrive program. Students could drop by, get a healthy snack, and pick up health promotion information. A total of 1,600 food items were distributed over the course of this academic year.

— Destress For Success – The Student Health Center participated in the DeStress for Success Program during the week of Dec. 4 to 8, 2023, by distributing healthy bites and stress relief kits at the Reed Library and in the vestibule of the LoGrasso Hall (Health Center). A total of 687 items were provided to students during the time period.

— Spring Break Bags — 200 bags spring break bags were distributed in McEwen Hall in March, containing information about safety during spring break as well as items such as sunscreen, band aids, condoms, etc.

— Eclipse Day — 250 food items (Moon Pies and Sunny D’s) were distributed to faculty, staff and students at the Makers Faire while promoting safety while watching the eclipse.


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