Monthly Report of the Committee on Food Insecurity

Friday, January 31, 2020

  • The following hours have been established for the Queensborough Food Pantry for Spring,

MONDAY, Noon-1 PM; 2.30-3.30 P.M.

TUESDAY, 11 AM-Noon

WEDNESDAY, 11 AM-Noon; 5-6 PM

THURSDAY, 10-11 AM; 3-4 PM

FRIDAY, 10-11AM; 1-2 PM

Appointments may be scheduled at other times by emailing Emily S. Tai, Chair, Committee on Food Insecurity, etai@qcc.cuny.edu

Committee Activities

  • The Committee on Food Insecurity met four times during the fall, 2019 semester:: Wednesday, August 28, 2019; Monday, September 23, 2019; Monday, October 28, 2019; and Monday, December 16, 2019. As of this writing we are extremely grateful to be supported by a strong partnership with the office of Vice-President Kerr, who administers Petrie Fund grants for Food Pantry supplies, with the assistance of Ms. Ronnie Weprin, of Queensborough's Office of Institutional Advancement, and serves as the Committee's administrative liaison. We would also like to thank Vice-President of Institutional Advancement Rosemary Zins, who, together with Ms. Ronnie Weprin and Ms. Saji Sheerazi, have all been generous with their time in soliciting and maintaining funding for the Food Pantry from the Petrie Foundation, other private foundations, and the Queensborough Community College Fund; and Ms. Amawati Gonesh, Director of Queensborough's Single Stop office, who has also been attending Committee meetings and assisting students with Food Pantry access.
  • The Queensborough Food Pantry supported a total of 707 student visits during the fall, 2019 semester. The Committee would particularly like to acknowledge Dr. Jun Shin, who created an Excel “Guest Book” that records/tabulates the number of student visitors and allows faculty opening the pantry to communicate with one another concerning other pantry stocking issues.
  • Vice-President Kerr's office has been working with Single Stop to administer $10 disbursements which are applied to the tigercards of needy students upon application to Single Stop; and a program that offers further support for the purchase of food at the Queensborough cafeteria to eligible needy students through the semester. This program is jointly funded by a grant from the Petrie Foundation and money allocated to CUNY in the New York City budget by the New York City Council to address food insecurity at CUNY.
  • Along with the members of the Committee on Food Insecurity: Dr. Kathleen Alves (Secretary); Professor Jun Shin; Professor Ashlee Klepper; Dr. Dorith Brodbar; Dr. Amy Traver; Dr. Christopher Roblodowski; Dr. Jonathan Cornick (Steering Committee Designee), who each contribute an hour weekly to allow students to access the pantry, the Committee would like to acknowledge two additional faculty volunteers who have helped students access the pantry: Dr. King Fung-Shelley (CUNYStart); and Dr. Vikki Terrile (Schmeller Library). All of these faculty are ccommitted to giving generously of their time during the coming spring semester and the Committee's gratitude is boundless.
  • On Friday, November 15, 2019, a delegation from the Committee on Food Insecurity, together with Ms. Amawati Gonesh, Director of Queensborough's Single Stop, also met with Ms. Naomi Sharp, Research Fellow at Center for an Urban Future, to discuss Food and Housing insecurity among CUNY students. In addition, a meeting with representatives of the Metropolitan Council for Jewish Poverty is planned for the spring semester. Over the winter recess, Mr. Ben Zeinitz, a representative of this organization, worked with Ms. Weprin to reorganize the pantry, and brought donations.
  • On Monday, December 16, the Committee met with Vice-President William Faulkner, who discussed current campus plans for cafeteria access and stocking, and cooperation with the Queensborough Food Pantry.
  • Queensborough Community College is listed among the colleges that provided date for the 2018#Real College Survey issued by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice, founded by Sara Goldrick-Rab at Temple University.
  • Dr. Susan Jacobowitz (Department of English) authored a presentation about the Queensborough Food Pantry which was presented at the 2020 Annual meeting of the Modern Language Association in Seattle this January by Dr. Aliza Atik.

Food Drive/Food Insecurity Events and Additional Acknowledgments:

  • Between October 23 and November 13, 2019, the Food Pantry was supported by a series of Sports Tournaments dedicated to “Fight Campus Hunger.” The members of the Food Insecurity Committee would particularly like to thank Interim President Timothy Lynch, who participated in the Basketball Tournament.
  • The Committee on Food Insecurity would also like to thank Dr. Lana Zinger, who hosted a screening of the film Forks Over Knives, co-sponsored by the Committee on Food Insecurity of the Academic Senate, the Lambda Sigma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, and the Health Club on Monday, November 11, 2019.
  • The Committee on Food Insecurity would also like to thank Dr. Melida Sanchez and members of the faculty of the Department of Foreign Languages for their generous donation of canned and packaged food received shortly before the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • The Committee on Food Insecurity would also like to thank Ms. Claire Lynch and members of Queensborough's NYPIRG Chapter, who also contributed a generous donation of canned and packaged food in November, 2019.
  • The Committee on Food Insecurity would also like to thank Father Edward Doran of the Newman Center for hosting a “Fruit and Study Gathering” for students which was sponsored, at the Newman Center, by the Committee on Food Insecurity and Queensborough's Lambda Sigma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa on Wednesday December 4, 2019, during which several students enjoyed fresh fruit while studying for final exams at the Newman Center. The committee would also like to thank Dr. Bianca Sosnovski, of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and Queensborough's SACNAS Chapter, for her donation of fresh fruit.
  • The Committee on Food Insecurity would also like to thank the multiple donors, many anonymous members of Queensborough's administration, faculty, and staff, who contributed approximately 20 bags of canned and packaged food to the Queensborough Food Pantry during this December's holiday luncheon on Thursday, December 19, 2019. We are extremely grateful to everyone for their generosity and kindness.
  • The Committee on Food Insecurity would like to thank Ms. Sandra Strauss and Dr. Paris Svoronos for several generous contributions of shopping bags, which are always in short supply!
  • Finally, the Committee on Food Insecurity would like to thank the following students, members of the Lambda Sigma Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and officers of the Queensborough Student Association for assisting with several “unpacking” events where received food was unpacked and shelved at the Queensborough Food Pantry: Ms. Biling Chen; Ms. Vayola Florus; Ms. Jacqueline Apostolo; Ms. Julia Lew, Mr. Raymond Chan; Ms. Hannah R. Touissant Ms. Ammary Viera; Mr. Andrew Mueller, Ms. Sophia How, and Ms. Pamela Joy Tabaquin.
  • Dr. Amy Traver continued her outreach to Temple University's Hope Center to find out more information concerning: 1) best practices related to student privacy and food pantry use, and 2) ways that our food pantry might best access food.  Dr. Traver recommended several resources that she found in the course of this research:

The Hope Lab Guide and Toolkit Website which contains not only suggestions for raising awareness about Food Insecurity on campus, but useful position papers on such issues as the expansion of SNAP benefits for college students

Sarah Goldrick-Rab, Distributing Emergency Aid to College Students: Recommendations and Sample Distribution Protocol

College and University Food Bank Alliance

Running a Campus Food Pantry

The Committee is also grateful to faculty who have shared the following informational items about new developments and strategies for addressing Food Insecurity on College campuses:

The New York Times, December 12, 2019: The Snap Rule Will Cause More Hunger than We Can Handle

 

School Turns Leftover Cafeteria Food into Frozen Take-Home Meals


Respectfully submitted,
Emily S. Tai
Chair, Committee on Food Insecurity

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