SUNY Potsdam’s Campus Food Pantry is Accepted as Partner Agency by the Food Bank of Central New York
SUNY Potsdam’s Campus Food Pantry has been accepted as a partner agency by the Food Bank of Central New York, which distributes food to individuals and families in need by partnering with local agencies across 11 counties.
Now in operation for nearly 13 years, the SUNY Potsdam Campus Food Pantry is supported by the Department of Public Health and Human Performance. Students who are experiencing food insecurity are welcome to stop by and take what they need from its office in Dunn Hall.
“After a lengthy application process and a site visit, we are finally authorized to purchase food through the Food Bank of Central New York, which means that our donation money will go further, as we will have access to donated and wholesale goods, and that we will be able to accept deliveries from the Food Bank,” said Sarah Lister, who supervises the pantry in addition to her work as the department’s community health internship coordinator.
The Campus Food Pantry was supported in its application by the St. Lawrence Health Initiative and by the Community Development Program of St. Lawrence County, which has agreed to act as the sponsoring non-profit organization.
SUNY Potsdam has made a concerted effort to increase donations to the Campus Food Pantry, and to raise awareness among students about its availability.
Approximately 200 students currently visit the pantry each month during the semester, which is about triple the usage the pantry has seen in past years, Lister said.
At the same time, the campus community has stepped up to increase donations. The amount of automatic payroll deductions from employees to support the pantry has doubled. In addition, a number of groups have held fundraisers asking for non-perishable goods to support the pantry—including alumni at Reunion Weekend, and employees at Faculty Senate meetings.
In November, University Police held a ticket amnesty day, during which SUNY Potsdam faculty, staff and students could have a parking ticket dismissed in exchange for bringing in donations to support the Campus Food Pantry. Numerous boxes of food donations were collected at the University Police offices, and 36 tickets were dismissed.
The Food Bank of Central New York is a not-for-profit organization working to eliminate hunger through nutritious food distribution, education, and advocacy in cooperation with the community. It partners with 280 emergency food programs in the counties of Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and St. Lawrence. To learn more, visit www.foodbankcny.org.
The SUNY Potsdam Campus Food Pantry is located in Dunn Hall Room 100, and is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. There is a whiteboard available for students to request items that they might need. Donations of food items can be made by dropping groceries off during business hours.
You can also donate to support the Campus Food Pantry online, by visiting https://www.potsdam.edu/giving, and clicking “Give Now.” Please write “Campus Food Pantry” under the designated program for this gift.
To keep track of what items are most in need, you can visit the center’s Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/sunypotsdamfoodpantry.
About SUNY Potsdam:
Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit www.potsdam.edu.