University Holds Ribbon-Cutting for Pioneer Pantry to Assist Students in Need

Associate Director of University Commons Manny Kohli, Student
Government President Brianna Egers, WP President Kathleen Waldron,
Associate VP & Dean of Student Development Glen Sherman, and VP for
Student Development Miki Cammarata

In order to assist students who are in need of food, William Paterson officially opened the Pioneer Pantry with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on November 28.

The pantry, located in Room 335 of the Student Center, is stocked with non-perishable groceries such as pasta, rice, cans of soup, canned fruits and vegetables, cereal, granola bars, crackers, coffee, and tea.

“The Student Government Association began talking to us a few years ago about food insecurity among students,” said President Kathleen Waldron.  “We are pleased to open this pantry for students in need and to do what we can with the resources we have.  I am grateful to the SGA for its support of this important initiative.  William Paterson is committed to this pantry in support of our students.”

Brianna Egers, current SGA president, thanked the University on behalf of former SGA president Esaul Helena ’17, who raised the issue of food security on campus and suggested a partnership between the SGA and the University to establish a pantry. “I am grateful to participate in this event and to accept and take on this initiative that is meeting an unmet need,” she said.

Miki Cammarata, vice president for student development, congratulated the members of the committee who worked to organize the pantry, including lead members Glen Sherman, associate vice president for student development and dean of students, and Manny Kohli, associate director of the University Commons, who completed the food handling training required to stock and run the pantry.  Also involved in the effort are Donna Minnich-Spuhler, director of campus activities, service, and leadership; Maribel Rodriguez, associate director of campus activities, service, and leadership; Jill Guzman, director, counseling, health, and wellness; Nick Grammicione, resident director, residence life; Alice Blount-Fenney, the University’s internal auditor, who has direct experience managing a food pantry; and Bill Kernan, professor and chair, public health.

Fifteen students accessed the pantry on its opening day on November 17.  Food is supplied by the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, of which the University is now a partner agency.  The pantry is currently open approximately three days a month; students must present a current University student ID card and be currently enrolled in order to receive food.  The pantry will be open on November 29 from 4 to 6 p.m.; December 1 from noon to 3 p.m.; December 13 from 4 to 6 p.m.; December 15 from noon to 3 p.m., and December 20 from 4 to 6 p.m.