College Food Shelf Seeing Increase in Utilization, Want in Donations | SUNY Plattsburgh

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Food shelf

As meals insecurity will increase nationwide, SUNY Plattsburgh sees it first-hand as extra
and extra of its college students make use of the campus meals shelf.

michele carpentierSince not too long ago relocating from the decrease degree of Macomb Hall to an area within the HUB
within the Angell College Center, utilization has explode, mentioned Dr. Michele Carpentier, director
of particular packages and assistant vice chairman of enrollment and scholar success.
Carpentier’s workplace additionally relocated from the identical Macomb Hall location.

“Since we moved right here, we’ve got used what would have been three weeks’ value on the
outdated place,” she mentioned throughout the first week within the new location. “We’re having a tough
time maintaining with the demand.”

The transfer from Macomb accounts for a few of the improve in site visitors, Carpentier mentioned.

Central Location

“Students say they didn’t know the place it was earlier than, and having it in a central location
makes it extra accessible,” she mentioned.

Senior digital media manufacturing main Jorge Martinez Abad, a local of Spain, appreciates
the transfer from Macomb to the Angell College heart.

“It is tremendous handy since it’s in the course of SUNY Plattsburgh and extra accessible
for everybody,” he mentioned. And it’s accessible each time the Angell College Center is

empty shelvesKeeping meals on the cabinets means relying totally on donations of money and foodstuffs.
Like a household working to stretch its meals {dollars}, Carpentier should do the identical, making an attempt
to stretch meals pantry funds by figuring out offers with corporations that may present
meals in bulk at a reduction. Right now, she locations orders usually with Walmart as a result of
the price is decrease than procuring at grocery shops. But nonetheless they arrive to $700, $800
an order.

It Takes Work

And it’s numerous work, she mentioned.

“I’ve to position the order, then somebody has to go decide it up and cargo it into the

The cabinets are then stocked in response to product sort. A brand new system of on-line ordering
requires somebody to drag meals and different merchandise from the cabinets and bag them with
the “receipt.”

empty shelves 2“Work study kids pack the bags,” Carpentier mentioned. “Students are available in, present their thought
and off they go. We don’t maintain information of who makes use of the meals shelf; we attempt to maintain
it as non-public as potential.”

For her half, Carpentier has to evaluate what makes essentially the most sense to order — which
meals and different merchandise carried, like personal-care objects, paper items and cleansing
provides, are requested and which, like canned inexperienced beans, sit on the cabinets. Vienna
sausages fly off the cabinets.

Carries Dry Goods

But Carpentier tells college students “to choose up their dry items right here and spend their cash
on better-quality meals.” In addition to a wide range of canned items, pastas and sauce,
soups, and ramen, additionally they present issues like cleaning soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes,
shampoos, menstrual merchandise and paper merchandise — these issues that the meals insecure
might should forego in an effort to afford to eat.

“Kids just can’t afford it,” Carpentier mentioned. “Some can barely afford tuition. The
value of menstrual merchandise is ridiculous. We maintain tampons, pads — numerous issues
which can be non-food however are equally wanted and required.

Moving from Macomb to the ACC is barely a part of the rise in site visitors, Carpentier

‘Not Enough Food’

sign“We have college students who’re stretching what little cash they should make it by
the semester; others don’t know use their meal plans to maximise this system.
Swipes on the eating corridor, the place it’s all you’ll be able to eat, isn’t the identical as a swipe
on the Sundowner, the place you’re paying for a sandwich, cookie and a drink,” she mentioned.
“And for an active 18-year-old, it’s not enough food.”

“I take advantage of it to get some meals that may final me for longer and to assist me pay much less cash
for the meal plan on campus,” Martinez Abad mentioned. He mentioned having a meals shelf on campus
permits him to save cash by selecting the least costly meal plan and nonetheless feed

His alternative of meal-stretchers?

“Ramen, snack (foods), and vegetables.” The pantry shares canned greens that college students
usually use to combine into meals like ramen and rice. Martinez Abad mentioned he’d prefer to see
extra wholesome choices provided; stock will be hit and miss relying on donations
of meals and money.

The school additionally has a excessive variety of college students residing off campus, Carpentier mentioned.
Roughly 1,620 college students dwell in scholar housing; some 2,800 reside off-campus.

“Students who select to dwell off campus assume they will afford it till they see how
a lot groceries and different objects price,” Carpentier mentioned. “They are available in right here to complement
what they will’t afford.”

Helps Stretch Food Dollar

Martinez Abad visits the meals shelf each different week to assist him stretch his meals
greenback. He mentioned college students ought to really feel snug making the most of the choices,
saying that if college students “want some further meals, are affected by (not having) cash
or wish to lower your expenses, the pantry is an efficient place to get meals without spending a dime and provide help to
develop your school expertise.”

It additionally helps scale back the stress that meals insecurity could cause.

“You won’t to have to worry about spending a lot of money on food,” he mentioned. “The
meals pantry is a (good) place to get meals and toiletries in a handy and not-expensive
place. It can also be a great way to get some help and avoid wasting cash throughout these
exhausting instances.”

‘Feed a Cardinal’

Donations to the meals pantry are available in from a number of departments throughout campus, from
the group and from an ongoing initiative launched a yr in the past by the Office of
Institutional Advance known as “Feed a Cardinal.” Last yr, “Feed a Cardinal” introduced
in additional than $5,000 in donations to the meals pantry. For extra info contact
Paula Bachman, director of annual giving, at 518-564-2090 or electronic mail [email protected]. To donate to “Feed a Cardinal,” go to

“We scrape from everywhere we can,” Carpentier mentioned. She mentioned a number of departments
are very vested within the meals shelf, donating usually. The library employees usually donates
and not too long ago donated a refrigerator-freezer for perishable meals.

Additionally, grant cash has been secured “that we’ll be capable to use to have snack
stations throughout campus. Anyone strolling by will be capable to seize a snack,” Carpentier
mentioned. “The thought is that even school children with meal plans don’t have entry to sufficient
meals. No one needs to be with out meals, even school college students.”

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