Did you know? Canisius has a place on campus for students struggling with food insecurity
By: Alyssa Kornacki, Contributor
Petey’s Pantry is a place on campus where students can come in and get what they need. Not only do they have food, but personal hygiene products as well.
The Griffin recently sat down with the team who runs the program. Graduate assistant Maryrose Alajo and Al Pilato, the associate director of student life, discussed updates to the pantry and what it offers.
The pantry has moved from last year’s location under the Palisano Fitness Center to “club row” in room WC 006. With this new high-traffic location across from the commuter lounge and the ALANA Student Center, the pantry has been gaining more foot traffic than ever before. Last year was the first full year that the pantry was established on campus: during that time, the location had 394 visits.
Within the first four weeks of the school year, the pantry has already seen over 90 visitors. All students on campus can utilize the pantry, including part-time students, grad students, commuters, residents and international students.
Students can receive items from the pantry such as milk, eggs, soup, pasta, dried goods and fresh produce. There is also a snack and hygiene section. Another feature of the pantry is that it is completely free.
Upon first visit, there is an option to receive a free Canisius grocery bag. Whenever the pantry is utilized, one of the pantry assistants will ask for the student’s ID number and what they are taking, for inventory purposes.
If any items are running low, the pantry is restocked weekly by the dining team at Chartwells. Donations and grant money are also used to keep items in stock. Chartwells now offers a program that will package extra food into meals from the dining hall and distribute them to students in need. To start using this program, students can sign up using the Dine on Campus app.
During the holiday season, the pantry hopes to run a campus-wide food drive to stock up and provide even more food to students on campus.
Nationwide, one in three college and university students face food insecurity, and Petey’s Pantry is here to close the gap on our campus. According to Pilato and Alajo, “Awareness and word of mouth to promote the pantry to students in need on our campus is essential.”
The pantry is open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Tuesdays 10-11:00 a.m. and 1-7:00 p.m., Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Thursdays 1-4 p.m.