Food pantry open at Stony Brook University

Kristin Thorne reports
October 24, 2013 2:41:38 PM PDT
A new food pantry is open on Long Island, but this one is a bit different.

It's on the campus of Stony Brook University and it's for students who need help with food.

"College students are becoming the new face of food insecurity around the country and it comes as a surprise to some people," said Casey McGloin, of Stony Brook University.

It wasn't a surprise though to those at Stonybrook University.

So they decided to do the best thing they thought possible, open up a food pantry right on campus with only healthy and substantive food.

"We've gotten nothing but positive feedback about wanting to help, wanting to sponsor food drives, wanting to drop off food," said Beth McGuire, of Stony Brook University.

It's open two nights a week for three hours and is available to anyone who has a valid Stonybrook University ID, so that's including faculty and staff.

When it opened its doors a month ago, people were waiting in line.

Now they have anywhere from 15-25 people come each night they're open.

It's staffed by student volunteers.

"My role here is to be the first person who greets our guests and creating that atmosphere of like ease and non-judgment," said Ruby Escalera-Nater, a student.

"Maybe you're here on scholarship and you have enough money to pay your tuition and you have enough money to pay room and board but you don't have enough money to eat three meals a day," said Jesse John, a doctorate student.

When the students come in they're given a set bag of items. These items change from week to week.

"If the need doesn't exist we would be happy to close our doors, but at this point we're happy that we can service those in need and respectfully and without stigma," McGuire said.

The best way to do that is to have fellow students donate which is exactly what's been happening.