Halie Cardon '24, a business major, Shelby Soper '24 of Candor, NY and a business administration major, and Matthew McGowan '26 of Tonawanda, NY and a chemistry/adolescent education double major are volunteers at SUNY Geneseo’s on-campus food pantry. The students have been working with the support of a $5000 Student Ambassador Award to expand the capacity of the food pantry.
As a result of the funding, students secured additional space to better store perishable and nonperishable food items, hygiene and household products, and food bags for local school children through the Backpack Program, which provides children with easy to prepare foods for weekends and holidays when school meals are not available. The pantry will also receive funding support from SUNY to support the expansion.
SUNY Geneseo’s food pantry is staffed by volunteers from the Food Security Advocates student organization, GOLD Mentors, Student Athlete Mentors, and students from the Dante House living-learning community. While providing fellow students with food, recipient anonymity is maintained along with work to destigmatize food insecurity.
Cardon, originally from Rochester, NY, serves as the marketing and outreach coordinator for the pantry, has been involved with the pantry for about a year.“We have been working hard to promote the pantry through various platforms, expanded our physical space, and established some amazing connections with several local partners,” she said.
Cardon finds her work with the pantry fulfilling and says, “I’m not sure if I can specify one thing. Truthfully, every aspect of volunteering through the pantry is extremely rewarding. Given that food insecurity is a major concern on campus, being able to help students even a little bit, is a great feeling. Food is a basic necessity that should never be a source of stress for anyone, and the fact that the pantry is able to help alleviate this burden is something amazing.”
The pantry operates solely on food and financial donations. If you are interested in contributing to Geneseo’s pantry, donations can be dropped off in Room 114 in the College Union during staffed hours. There will be a GOLD mentor or student athlete mentor in Room 114 at the following times to answer any questions you may have: Monday to Thursday, 12–4 p.m. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.