SUNY Oswego recently opened a pantry with food, toiletries and winter clothing to meet a need among college students who sometimes lack these necessities. An initiative launched by the college’s Student Association and student affairs offices, the Students Helping Oz Peers project—or S.H.O.P. for short—opened its pantry in October and is open from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays, and noon to 3 p.m. on Fridays in Room 3 in Penfield Library’s basement.
“Food insecurity issues affect students at colleges and universities everywhere,” Dean of Students Jerri Howland said. An October 2016 report by the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness found 20 percent of students at four-year schools across the nation qualified as having very low food security, with 48 percent of respondents reporting food insecurity in the previous 30 days.
“Our job is to advocate for the students who need help and to make sure the college experience is an enjoyable one,” said Student Association President Emily Nassir.
With a student body of nearly 8,000 students, SUNY Oswego is large enough to offer more than 110 programs of study yet small enough for students to form quality relationships with each other and caring faculty.