GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — UConn Avery Point will host a celebration for the opening of its newest food pantry, the Husky Harvest, on Wednesday.
This pantry is one of four that is opening on each of UConn’s regional campuses. Campus officials said the effort is part of a university-wide initiative to address food insecurity through a partnership with Connecticut Foodshare.
“I’m excited and I can’t wait to see [the food pantries] get off the ground and in motion,” Avery Point Director of Campus Operations Janene Vandi said. “I really want to get the word out that this resource is here.”
Vandi helped spearhead the campus’ efforts in this initiative. She also expects Avery Point’s graduates and undergraduate students to take advantage of the pantry once it opens.
“We’re going to open modestly three or four times a week and see what the need is,” she said. “We have a lot of first-generation students who are bound to our area and must work a lot of hours to bring money home to their families. We hear that families are struggling, and we do anticipate there will be a good number of students who rely on the resources here.”
While campus dining services do offer meals, Vandi noted that sometimes spare food can go a long way in stretching someone’s budget. This is especially because Connecticut Foodshare’s partnership will help provide staple items such as pasta, beans, sauce, or rice.
The Husky Harvest food pantry is set to begin on Wednesday, Jan. 18. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will begin at 12:20 in the Community Professional Building on campus, located at 1084 Shennecossett Road in Groton.
Contributions to the Regional Campus Food Insecurity Fund at the UConn Foundation to support Husky Harvest across all of the regional campuses can be made online.
There are several other Husky Harvest locations expected to open in Connecticut soon. School officials said locations in Hartford and Waterbury are in development, and one location in Stamford opened last semester.