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City College closes its community food pantry

@ccny_bennys_foodpantry | Instagram

At 11:14 a.m. on April 29, City College shut down its campus food pantry in response to the pro-Palestine protests. In an email, Benny’s Food Pantry announced, “due to the current demonstrations occurring on campus, we currently lack the necessary staffing to manage Benny’s Food Pantry effectively.” However, it is still unclear as to why the campus chose to shut the pantry down as opposed to alternative actions, such as limiting how often students can visit.  

In place of the food pantry, The CUNY Gaza Solidarity Encampment has opened up providing “food, hygiene products, sunscreen, pain and allergy medications, and water” and are accepting donations. 

Under an Instagram post, the CUNY Gaza Solidarity Encampment called the decision, “a shameful attempt by the administration to sabotage our encampment and turn our community members against each other,” calling it a form of “collective punishment” on the protests.       

Benny’s Food Pantry has stated on its website, “We understand the importance of providing equal access to all, and this approach allows us to better serve our community.” By shutting down the food pantry, students and community members in need may face an increase in struggle with food insecurity as the protests continue. 

“At this time, we remember our people in Palestine and Gaza who are being starved by the Zionist entity. The CUNY administration supports the same genocidal entity that deliberately uses starvation as a weapon, and they are using the same tactics against us. We remain steadfast in defending our encampment, because our sacrifice is nothing compared to the struggle of Palestinians in Palestine,” the CUNY Gaza Solidarity Encampment posted on Instagram

“The violent raids we have seen across New York in recent days, including at Columbia, The New School, NYU and SUNY Purchase, as well as across the country, show us that our administrations and government officials are more concerned with protecting the capitalist-imperialist interests that keep them in power than the safety and well-being of their students and workers,” the organization continued on Instagram.       

Though the NYPD continues to arrest students who stand with Pro-Palestinian protesters, members of the CUNY Gaza Solidarity Encampment refuse to back down until change has been made. 

“I am planning on being here until I get arrested. And if I get arrested and [the encampment is] still up, I’ll come back and sleepover until they take it down and it’s no longer up,” says Hunter student Matteo, reported by The Campus

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