University Of Florida Opens Food Pantry For Students In NeedBy Ron S.
University of Florida has opened its food pantry to help hungry students get their needed nutrition.
The food pantry named "UF Field and Fork Pantry," which is located at the middle of the campus, is University of Florida's answer to growing concerns over starving students, the Washington Post reported.
Jack Payne, senior vice president of agriculture and natural resources at the university, states that one in 10 students at UF is having a hard time feeding themselves due to financial instabilities.
"Among students from low-income families, the hunger rate is twice that," Payne continued. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, as well as the Dean of Students Office has taken it upon themselves to address the issue, citing that hunger is a "barrier to higher education."
The Field and Fork Pantry is a program that aims to aid students in need, especially when they can't even feed themselves properly. It provides the student body healthy and sustainable food resources at the campus.
The program also includes lessons on how to grow their own food, and everything that comes with it. The 900-square-foot building has been open for a year and has already served 3,357 students since July 2015. It has managed to distribute 31,592 pounds of fresh produce, along with non-perishable items.
The University of Florida looks to expand the food program, as organizers plan to expand the staff and offer student-led classes in cooking. Since the pantry's opening in 2015, the Field and Fork Pantry has provided food and classes to its students, and has been hosting a handful of activities to spread awareness, University of Florida reported.
Several alumni have given back and offered donations to further add to the pantry's inventory, as well as students whom volunteered to work at the pantry. The Field and Fork Pantry is one of the latest of food pantries that has popped up throughout the country, as the University of Georgia opened its student pantry in 2011, as well as the Louisiana State University opened theirs in 2013.