Even as most of the Arcadia community went home in March, the Knights for Nutrition Food Pantry, an initiative that started in 2018, stayed open for a small cohort of students and community members in the surrounding area who depend on the pantry for food. This continued throughout the summer and fall semester through a coordinated effort by the Knights for Nutrition Committee, which includes Community and Civic Engagement Center (CCEC), Metz, and Student Affairs.
“We want to make sure that students have access to nutritional foods during this difficult time,” said Dr. Angela McNeil, chair of the Knights for Nutrition Committee and director of the Act 101/Gateway to Success programs in Graduate and Undergraduate Studies. “This collaboration seeks to support current graduate and undergraduate students with food insecurity.”
At the pantry, students can receive produce, canned goods, pasta, and other non-perishable items, as well as hygiene supplies. During the spring 2020 semester, the food pantry moved to Oak Summit from Knight Hall, so students who remained in the apartments could more easily access the pantry. While it’s currently in the B lobby gym of Oak Summit, it may have to move again for the spring 2021 semester, as more students return to campus with the phased reopening.
The pantry is determined to remain open, receiving donations, hosting virtual food drives, and partnering with Jenkintown Food Cupboard, which students can also access Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For Public Health major Tyanna Taylor ’21, a student volunteer with CCEC who works in the pantry, the biggest challenge hasn’t been keeping the pantry in stock, or keeping up with safety precautions, but getting the word out to students that it is still open.
“We're trying to let the off-campus student community know that they can still access the pantry,” said. “Some people may not realize that we're still open.”
The pantry is open on Tuesdays from 1 to 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Oak Summit. Students can come during these times and select items needed while adhering to social distancing regulations.
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To get updates from the food pantry, students can text “@KNFP” to “81010.”