Mobile Food Pantry rolls onto campus
Jess Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter
Students should be eating well-balanced, nutrient rich meals, three times a day, right? But, with the cost of books, lab fees and extra-curricular activities, students just don’t have the funds to make it happen. College life seems to only get more expensive by the day.
According to the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 59 percent of college students at a university in Oregon were classified as food insecure at some point during the last school year. This means that malnutrition is a problem more than half of students face.
By this point in the semester, meal plans have all but run out for some students. Carrying a full course load is a job in itself, so students have to increasingly ask their parents for help. Parents can’t always supply them with that help. In these cases, students are not receiving the food they need.
That is where the Mobile Food Pantry comes in to help. Starting this semester, the Southern Connecticut State University Alumni Association has collaborated with the Milford food pantry to provide students with nutritious meals.
The Milford Food Pantry is run through the volunteer work of The Cornerstone Christian Center and the SCSU Alumni Association.
Currently, the Mobile Food Pantry comes to campus twice a month and this is the first semester that the food truck is running. Adam Lucianos, volunteer from Cornerstone Christian Center, hopes that the truck can come to campus more frequently.
“This is the first year that we have a truck. This is the first semester, but ideally, we want to run the truck all year round,” said Lucianos.
Sandra Raffington, another volunteer, adds, “It was depends on if we get the volunteers and the donations. Jesus gave us the blessings to keep this operation running.”
The truck receives it’s donations from the community as well as from local grocery stores interested in helping. The church, Cornerstone Christian Center, funds the truck’s expenses, like gas and upkeep.
“Our church does a lot of God’s work,” said Lucianos. “We try our best to supply the community with clothes, food, or prayers; whatever we can do to help you on your walk.”
The Mobile Food Pantry is on campus two times a month. They supply food packages every second Tuesday and every fourth Wednesday. The Mobile Food Pantry spends two mornings at SCSU, then they take the remaining bags of food to communities in need, like the Valley Street Apartments.
“If we can’t get rid of the food here, it goes quickly in the afternoon,” said Raffington.
Students who are in need of assistance are encouraged to fill out a Self-Declaration of Need form, available on Southern’s website. In order to be eligible, students must fill out both the front and back of the form.
Students can submit the stories, in complete confidence, to Peter Loscoskinsi through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. By submitting the form ahead of time, students can receive assistance right away, rather than having to wait the day of the Mobile Food Pantry. This also takes away any potential embarrassment students might feel.
There are three remaining dates for the Mobile Food Pantry; April 7, April 22 and May 5. The truck will be available all morning on these days, at various points around campus. The Mobile Food Truck schedule can be found on Southern’s website.
The Cornerstone Christian Center will also be having two Easter Sunday services. They encourage students to stop by.
Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas