Donated satellite units expand campus food pantry’s reach
In this season of Thanksgiving, the Pennsylvania College of Technology community is reminded of those in need – including students whose food insecurity is mitigated by The Cupboard, a food pantry housed in the Bush Campus Center.
The pantry’s reach has been bolstered through the generosity of Frank G. Pellegrino, who contributed funds for six stand-alone “mini-cupboards” – each with a refrigerator and shelving for non-perishables – strategically situated across the college’s campuses. The self-service units are stocked with donations to The Cupboard in a collaborative initiative with Dining Services and human services & restorative justice students.
A local business owner and loyal advocate of Penn College, with philanthropy that includes a scholarship fund that honors his parents, Pellegrino has a particular interest in food insecurity as a Central Pennsylvania Food Bank board member.
“I am passionate about helping those that struggle with food insecurity, and believe no one should go to bed hungry or have to worry where their next meal is coming from,” Pellegrino said. “I find that college hunger is a real problem that is not fully addressed on many campuses. However, I salute the team at Penn College for tackling the challenge head-on.”
“This Thanksgiving season, we can’t forget that the problem is 24/7, 365 days a year, and with a combined effort, we can make a difference and eradicate college campus food insecurity,” he added. “I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work alongside leaders at Penn College, and other philanthropic partners, toward eliminating hunger on our campuses.”
Watch a video about The Cupboard,
produced by the Office of Educational & Emerging Technologies
The Cupboard serves an average of 42 households per month, accounting for 55 to 70 visits, according to usage statistics kept by Dining Services.
Among The Cupboard’s most in-demand items, for which donations are always welcome, are breakfast foods; easy-prep pasta meals; spaghetti sauce; peanut butter; jelly; canned fruits, vegetables and soups (with pop tops); instant mashed potatoes; instant oatmeal; macaroni and cheese; and noodles.
Food donations can be dropped off at the Wildcat Express, the convenience store in the Campus Center that is adjacent to The Cupboard. Dedicated monetary contributions are also accepted through the College Relations Office.
“We are grateful for the support from many of our partners to The Cupboard in addressing food insecurity on our campus,” said Kyle A. Smith, senior executive director of college relations. “Our students work tirelessly in the labs to gain the skills necessary to fulfill meaningful roles in industries with critical labor shortages. We need to give them the tools to be successful, and we are fortunate to have the support of these partners to help eliminate food insecurity as a barrier for our students.”
Students wishing confidential access to The Cupboard’s services are invited to visit its website or any of the satellite sites – four on main campus and one each at the college’s other two campuses:
• Klump Academic Center, hallway near Room 200-B
• College Avenue Labs, hallway near Room 133
• Hager Lifelong Education Center/Carl Building Technologies Center, hallway near Room 106
• Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center, hallway near Room E142
• Lumley Aviation Center, Room A201
• Schnebelli Earth Science Center, Room 109