Bearcat food pantry now open to students


Heath Ashli | Flickr

Adriana Maria Lopez Tavares, Opinions Editor

Baruch College held the grand opening of its food pantry on Feb. 7. The food consists of dry goods, meat and dairy. The pantry also includes kosher and halal food options.

The Bearcat Food Pantry is in the Baruch One Stop Shop, which is room 1-116 in the William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus.

Baruch students now have access to a variety of resources, supplied through donations from the Petrie and Friedlander Foundations and the Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship COVID-19 Revitalization Project.

Students that want to take advantage of these food options will need to make an appointment and fill out a short form  to choose from seven categories:  juices/milk, cereals, sauces/oils, fruits, vegetables, pasta/beans/rice and meat/poultry/fish.

In each of the seven categories, students can select up to three options.

While the pantry is designed for Baruch students, it is open to all active CUNY students. Food pantries across each of the CUNY schools are available to all students in the CUNY system.

According to the Student Affairs website, the pantry’s inventory changes to adapt to students’ needs. In the upcoming months, they hope to carry non-food items and toiletries.

While the pantry was established through monetary donations, it is still accepting donations of unopened food items that have a minimum of two weeks until the expiration date. Any donations can be dropped off at the Office of the Dean of Students

A landmark study by Sara Goldrick-Rab in 2017 found that 36% of students were food insecure, that is, without consistent access to healthy food.

Baruch has also made a “Grab & Go Bag” available to students facing immediate hunger. Students who have not eaten for a long time, are experiencing dizziness or dehydration from lack of eating or skipped recent meals due to lack of money are encouraged to take advantage of this resource.

The bags contain three small meals, covering breakfast, lunch and dinner to help students get through their days. They can request a bag at the Dean of Students Office, Office of Student Life or the Health Center.

The Bearcat Food Pantry and the Grab & Go Bag are initiatives that students can currently benefit from. There was another available before the pandemic called Hot Lunch To Go where students could receive one weekly hot meal.

This program was put on pause until the COVID-19 lockdowns ended. The pantry opened in early 2023, but the possibility of the other two initiatives resuming has yet to be ruled out.

The COVID-19 Revitalization Project is a resource that allows second-year students to receive gift cards to purchase food items from New York City-based, minority-owned small businesses. Interested students facing economic hardship can send in an application to the Office of the Dean of Students.

Baruch Alumni shared on Instagram that they are thrilled that the food pantry is open and believe that it will be instrumental to many students on their path to graduation.

Editor’s Note note: The Office of Student Affairs was contacted, but was unable to discuss the specific budget for the donations to the Bearcat Food Pantry.