Columbia University School of General Studies to Donate $50K to The Food Pantry at Columbia

 
 
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NEW YORK - May 2, 2019 - PRLog -- The Columbia University School of General Studies (GS) has pledged to donate $10K per year over the next five years to support The Food Pantry at Columbia, an officially-recognized student group that provides access to both perishable and nonperishable food for University students who need it most.

"We at GS recognize that food insecurity is a real problem on college campuses nationwide, including here at Columbia, and are committed to developing initiatives that support students in need," said Lisa Rosen-Metsch, Dean of the School of General Studies. "We are excited about our collaboration with the Food Pantry, which will help enable the organization to further expand the great work it has already been doing to provide increased access to food for all University students."

Additional resources available for food-insecure GS students include six meal swipes per semester provided by Columbia Dining via the Emergency Meal Fund (EMF). GS partners with the EMF to distribute meal tickets to GS students confidentially, in addition to offering vouchers for meals at local restaurants. The School has also established an Educational Assistance Stipend fund, to which students experiencing unanticipated emergency financial issues may apply.

Last spring, GS conducted a comprehensive survey of its student body (https://www.columbiaspectator.com/news/2019/03/28/close-t...), which included questions about food insecurity using a state-of-the-art standardized scale from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, ensuring maximum comparability with national statistics on food security and hunger. The survey, which was highly representative of the GS student body, saw a significant 60 percent participation rate and a 56 percent full completion rate.

The Food Pantry at Columbia began in the School of General Studies and the General Studies Student Council in May 2016, and today operates as a recognized student group with an eight-person board, seven committees, and approximately 125 volunteers. It is the only student-run and fully operational food pantry in any of the eight Ivy League institutions.

"The Food Pantry at Columbia is humbled and honored to accept this gift from the School of General Studies. This contribution will allow us to continue our mission of combating hunger on our campus, and expand our reach beyond our initial expectations. Our growth and development is contingent upon those within the University who share our vision. From everyone affiliated with The Food Pantry at Columbia—both past and present—we offer our deepest gratitude," said Michael Higgins, Co-founder and Chair of The Food Pantry at Columbia.

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About the Columbia University School of General Studies
The Columbia University School of General Studies (GS) is the premier liberal arts college in the United States for nontraditional students seeking a rigorous, traditional, Ivy League undergraduate education. GS students take the same courses, study with the same faculty, and earn the same degree as all other undergraduates at Columbia University.

About The Food Pantry at Columbia
The Food Pantry at Columbia (https://thefoodpantry.studentgroups.columbia.edu/) is a non-profit organization under the purview of Columbia University, which works to relieve hunger through the acquisition and distribution of food to those students who need it most. The pantry receives non-perishable foods at discounted prices as a member of the Food Bank for New York City (https://www.foodbanknyc.org/), as well as fresh produce from the Corbin Hill Food Project (http://corbinhill-foodproject.org/farmshare).

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Christina Gray
Assistant Director of Communications
Columbia University School of General Studies
***@columbia.edu
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