GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) – Uconn’s Avery Point campus in Groton opened a food pantry for students on Wednesday. A ribbon-cutting was held to kick off the university’s efforts to help students with food insecurity.
The food pantry, called Husky Harvest, will be opening at all of its regional campuses. That means, in addition to Avery Point, pantries will open in Waterbury, Hartford, and one in Stamford opened last semester.
UConn has teamed up with Foodshare to provide that service to students who have many other bills to pay and may not be able to work as much because of their schoolwork, so they may need this help to feed themselves and their families.
“Many of them are working several jobs to make ends meet, so this is an opportunity to life them up and give them a resource so that they can continue to pursue their higher education,” said Janene Vandi, Associate Campus Director.
“Not a lot of people think that college students have insecurity, but so many of us do and it’s really nice to actually have help,” said Ari Skelcher.
Skelcher works part-time and goes to school full-time. She doesn’t always have a lot of extra money and putting food on her table can be a challenge.
“I got some peanut butter and some jelly, some taco shells, so I’m very excited,” Skelcher said.
The university is offering some items students can take home to make meals, as well as grab-and-go snacks they can pick up between classes.
“You can’t learn if you don’t have food,” said Jason Jakubowski, Foodshare CEO.
Community colleges like Three Rivers in Norwich have also offered this resource to students for a few years.
The pantry will be open three days a week, but they will be surveying students to find out if they should expand those hours.