Harry K. Foundation, Food Bank of Delaware mark grand opening of Delaware State University food pantry
November 2, 2016
Thanks to a generous donation from the Harry K. Foundation, anti-hunger advocates officially cut the ribbon on the new food pantry at Delaware State University this afternoon.
The food pantry is made possible thanks to continued financial support from the Harry K Foundation. By year’s end, there will be 30 Harry K Foundation-sponsored school pantries throughout the entire state of Delaware.
Through the program, food insecure Delaware State University students will be able to access emergency food and hygiene products by visiting the food pantry. The new pantry will offer a variety of nutritious food products and hygiene items. Students will select food based on their needs. Food for the pantry will be provided by the Food Bank of Delaware and school-wide food drives or community donations.
Based on a needs assessment conducted last year at Delaware State University, 57 percent of students surveyed reported experiencing food insecurity during the previous 12 months. These results are based on a very small n-count and are considered preliminary data. The faculty will be conducting more research in the future.
Released just last month, the National Hunger on Campus survey indicates that based on their survey of almost 3,800 students at 34 community and four-year colleges across 12 states, 22 percent of respondents have the very lowest levels of food insecurity, and 13 percent of students at community colleges are homeless.
“College students are an extension of the younger children who receive food from the Harry K Pantries located in elementary and middle schools,” said Harry K Foundation Founder Harry Keswani. “Research confirms the important link between good nutrition and the availability of children to concentrate and to learn. For older students, working a job in order to eat is not always an option while pursuing a college education in hopes of ensuring a future without hunger.”
A soft opening was held at the Delaware State University pantry earlier this month, and more than 75 students utilized the assistance.
Delaware State University President Harry L. Williams said that many people don’t realize that some higher education students have struggles that include getting proper nourishment on regular basis.
“There are some students that are literally working their way through school,” Dr. Williams said. “And in paying for the cost of higher education, some cut corners on what they spend on food. The DSU Food Pantry makes it possible for the University to reach out and help such students.”
“In the United States 14.4% households of our experience some level of inadequate access to food. This same statistic is evident amongst our college students and at Delaware State University we wanted to do something about it,” said Dr. Marsha Horton, dean of the DSU College of Education, Health and Public Policy. “We are excited about working with our partners, the Food Bank of Delaware and the Harry K Foundation, to offer this needed service to our university community.”
“We know that hunger is present on our college campuses,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “We have been working for years to implement school pantries on Delaware college campuses, and we are proud that Delaware State University was the first to step up to the plate. In order for today’s college students to be successful they not only need textbooks, educational supplies and quality professors, they need nutritious foods.”