Food Pantry Expands to Health Science Campus

November 15, 2019 | UToday
By Meghan Cunningham

A new Student Food Pantry is now available to provide convenient and healthy options to students on Health Science Campus.

The University of Toledo cut the ribbon Nov. 4 on the new location in Health Education Building Room 112 that will provide popular pantry items, such as cereals and soups, as well as frozen meals and refrigerated drinks.

Cutting the ribbon last week to mark the opening of the Health Science Campus Food Pantry were, from left, Dr. Gary Pollack, dean of the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and executive vice president for clinical affairs; Jason Toth, senior associate vice president for administration; President Sharon L. Gaber; Dr. Randall Worth, associate dean of student affairs and admissions in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences; Dr. Phillip “Flapp” Cockrell, vice president for student affairs; and Dr. Linda Lewandowski, dean of the College of Nursing.

“We know that food insecurity is a concern across the country in all communities, and that includes college campuses,” said Dr. Sammy Spann, associate vice president and dean of students. “Our students have really responded to our growing food programs on Main Campus, and it was important we find an opportunity to provide the same services to our students on Health Science Campus.”

The new Student Food Pantry location on Health Science Campus will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the same hours of operation as the Student Food Pantry located in the Thompson Student Union on Main Campus that averages 60 student visits per week.

At the start of the academic year, the Division of Student Affairs took the food pantry on the road with pop-up displays with quick grab-and-go snacks to keep students fueled as they head to and from class. Two pop-ups are set up each week — one on each campus.

Students also have the opportunity to help each other out when they have extra meal swipes at the end of the month because they can be donated to the Student Food Pantry for another student to use in the on-campus dining halls. Donations of food and money are accepted year round to stock the growing Student Food Pantry programs.

The Rocket Fuel Meal Alert Program launched in spring 2019 also continues to be a success; it notifies students when food is available after a catered event on campus so they can come share a meal with friends or fill a to-go container to eat it later. There are more than 780 students enrolled to get a text alert when food is available, which averages about two times per week. In addition to providing students with nutritious meals, the program is reducing waste with more than 3,500 pounds of food saved.

For more information, visit the Student Food Pantry website.

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