STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — UConn has one more reason to celebrate amid the basketball wins — the campus now has its very own food pantry.
The pantry, called “Husky Harvest,” is now open in a place you might not think it’s needed: The University of Connecticut campus in Storrs. Students here may have the money for tuition, but some may not have money for dinner.
“People have a choice: do they pay for school? Do they pay for books? Do they want to pay for housing, or do they pay for food?” questioned CT Foodshare President and CEO Jason Kakubowski. “Almost always, food is the thing that goes by the wayside.”
According to Connecticut Foodshare, one out of seven college students in the United States is food insecure. UConn officials said it’s tough to learn if you’re hungry.
The University Provost remembers from her days as a graduate student.
“I was in New York City,” UConn Provost Anne D’Alleva said. “I would count out my subway fare to work, I would pay my bills, and whatever was left over, I would have for food.”
Together, students and officials fought to get pantries called “Husky Harvest” at UConn and all its satellite campuses. They’ve already opened at Avery Point and in Waterbury. Now, the main campus has its own, in partnership with Foodshare.
“As we’re coming out of the pandemic, we’re dealing with inflation, we’re dealing with all of these other costs, these other financial burdens, how do we help the people that need it?” Kakubowski said.
They think the ones that need it most live in off-campus housing, where they are not on university meal plans. That includes more than 2,000 students.
“So we want our students to be able to succeed, to feel secure, to focus on their studies, to focus on their success, so that they’re ready to go out and be leaders and give back in the way that we know that they can,” D’Alleva said.
All you need is a UConn ID to receive food from Husky Harvest. Regular hours will be Mondays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.