Syracuse University addresses food insecurity on campus

Good News Notes:

While it might be tucked away in a small room at Hendricks Chapel, the food pantry fills a great need at Syracuse University.

“It’s a pantry for students by students,” said Syeisha Byrd, Office of Engagement Programs Director.

It’s well stocked with non-perishable food as well as personal care items. “We try to provide toiletries, dish soap, one of the biggest requests was cleaning supplies,” Byrd said.

While it has served the campus community for a number of years, the need for it has increased since the start of the pandemic. “Most of the students we serve are upper level students – juniors, seniors, grad students. That’s because they have their own apartments. they’re not on a meal plan, they’re not living in the residence halls.” Byrd explained. “So, they realize once they get out on their own and they’re paying bills, ‘Whoa, I don’t have enough money to afford food.’”

Byrd said this is an issue on college campuses across the country. “We know that 1 in 3 students experience some type of food insecurity,” She added. “Food insecurity could be you passing up a meal for a day.”

Before the pandemic, students were able to come in the pantry and shop. Now all they have to do is scan a QR code and place their order. “You walk up, you give us your name and we hand you a bag,” Byrd said about the new process.”

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