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December 11, 2019
Giving Back: The West Chester University Resource Pantry
“A growing number of college students across the nation are wrestling with food insecurity, and at West Chester University this issue affects students who are working very hard to complete their degrees,” says Associate Director for the Office of Service- Learning and Volunteer Programs Pam Frontino.
"It’s important that people understand how serious the issue is, and how hunger can impact students’ mental, physical, and emotional health, as well as their chances of graduating."
A large part of Pam’s job is managing the WCU Resource Pantry, which is four years old and provides students with access to non-perishable food items, fresh food, school supplies, toiletries, career clothing, and winter coats. “The original concept for the Pantry came from a few dedicated and caring WCU staff who were already working with students expressing some level of food insecurity,” Pam says. After doing some research and collecting data, her office secured a grant to help establish the Pantry on campus.
“The Pantry is run with the help of students who are hired as Pantry Ambassadors,” Pam says. They greet students, help them with intake forms, track inventory, stock shelves, and greet community partners who bring donations.
In addition to providing resources, the Pantry organizes cooking demonstrations, financial literacy workshops, and trips to the West Chester Food Cupboard and Wings for Success. This year they’re hoping to add community dinners and nutrition workshops.
“Donations are always welcomed and appreciated,” Pam says. Items can be brought to the Pantry at 715 South New Street. Monetary donations can be given to the Pantry through the WCU Foundation, and supplies can also be purchased through the Pantry’s Amazon Wishlist.
Visit wcupa.edu/pantry for more information.