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Haven Cupboard opens near East Campus

PHOTO PROVIDED Students and faculty spoke at the opening of the Haven Cupboard, which will help provide food to LHU students in need.

By DR. GAYATRI DEVI

For The Express

LOCK HAVEN — The Haven Cupboard, Lock Haven University’s food pantry for students, opened last week in a ceremony at the Beth Yehuda Synagogue near East Campus. This has been a project of Amy Downes for the last year or so.

Research on food insecurity among college students indicates that anywhere between 41and 48 percent of college students in the U.S. are food insecure, meaning that they do not know where their next meal is coming from, or they do not have consistent access to nutritious food, or they go hungry for extended periods of time for lack of financial means to provide meals for themselves.

Rising tuition rates have compounded the problem; where there are many bills to pay, something has got to go, and it is usually groceries. Research indicates that students take multiple jobs to afford food and housing and tuition and textbooks, in addition to focusing on their school work, or take “hunger naps” where they sleep off their hunger to cope with their food insecurity.

At LHU, we started working on our food pantry through the Center for Excellence and Inclusion (CEI) about a year ago; it was a student-led project idea that Amy adopted as one of CEI’s most important student support services project. Some of us faculty and staff worked with Amy and her student assistants to help bring food security back to our students. As our CEI director Kenny Hall noted in his little speech, it is our privilege and honor to offer this service to our students.

The Haven Cupboard is a student support service and it is open to any LHU student. The food pantry is open Wednesdays from 7 -9 p.m. for students to shop.

Non-perishable items can be dropped off on Wednesdays from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the former Beth Yehuda Synagogue, 320 W. Church St., Lock Haven, across from the East Campus Science Center beginning October 16.

October is Hunger Awareness Month, as you know. If you are participating in Hunger Bowl, please know that a portion of your donations will come to Haven Cupboard.

If you wish to donate at another time, please email havencupboard@lockhaven.edu. At this time, the Haven Cupboard is only accepting non-perishable items. We hope that in the future we will be able to expand our offerings to include refrigerated and frozen items.

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