DSU Dedicates New Food Pantry on Campus
Funded by a generous donation from the Harry K. Foundation, and facilitated by the Food Bank of Delaware, a new food pantry was dedicated Nov. 2 at Delaware State University.
Dr. Hazel Bradshaw-Beaumont (l), associate professor of art, stands in the Food Pantry in front the artistic work she created especially for that space. DSU Chaplain Pam Adams, who also helped with that facility, stands to the right.
Through the DSU Food Pantry – located in the John R. Price Building on campus – food insecure Delaware State University students will be able to access emergency food and hygiene products by visiting the food pantry. The new pantry will offer a variety of nutritious food products and hygiene items. Students will select food based on their needs. Food for the pantry will be provided by the Food Bank of Delaware and school-wide food drives or community donations.
While students residing on campus are required to purchase a meal plans, there are also students who live off campus and do not have a meal plan.
Delaware State University President Harry L. Williams said that many people don’t realize that some higher education students have struggles that include getting proper nourishment on regular basis.
“There are some students who are literally working their way through school,” Dr. Williams said. “And in paying for the cost of higher education, some cut corners on what they spend on food. The DSU Food Pantry makes it possible for the University to reach out and help such students.”
In the United States, 14.4% of households experience some level of inadequate access to food. The same statistic is evident amongst our college students, and at DSU we wanted to do something about it," said Dr. Marsha Horton, dean of the DSU College of Education, Health and Public Policy. "We are excited about working with our partners -- the Food Bank of Delaware and the Harry K Foundation -- to offer this needed service to our University community.
Dr. Horton said the idea for the DSU Food Pantry came from Amy Ash-Goote, a visiting instructor in her DSU College’s Dept. of Public and Allied Health Sciences, who learned from a number of her students that maintaining a nourishing diet was a challenge. Ms. Ash-Goote then began exploring the possibilities with Dr. Horton for a food pantry on campus – which led to conversations with the Food Bank of Delaware and then with the connection to the Harry K Foundation. And the DSU Food Pantry became a reality.
A refrigerated mobile pantry will also make a stop once a month at DSU with perishable items for students in need.
“It began with us listening to our students and learning about their need in this area,” Dr. Horton said.
“We know that hunger is present on our college campuses,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “We have been working for years to implement school pantries on Delaware college campuses, and we are proud that Delaware State University was the first to step up to the plate. In order for today’s college students to be successful they not only need textbooks, educational supplies and quality professors, they need nutritious foods.”
“College students are an extension of the younger children who receive food from the Harry K Pantries located in elementary and middle schools,” said Harry K Foundation founder Harry Keswani. “Research confirms the important link between good nutrition and the availability of children to concentrate and to learn. For older students, working a job in order to eat is not always an option while pursuing a college education in hopes of ensuring a future without hunger.”
The DSU Food Pantry with non-perishable foodstuffs in the Price Building will be opened four times a month on a schedule publicized to the student community. Once a month a mobile refrigerated pantry will also come to the campus to make perishable foods available to students in need.
The Food Pantry at DSU is the first one to be established on a college campus in Delaware.