KENNESAW, Ga. | Mar 1, 2021
Kennesaw State University students who are experiencing food insecurity will soon get a supportive boost with the expansion of two on-campus food pantries that provide access to fresh, frozen and refrigerated foods.
Kroger’s Atlanta Division has partnered with Kennesaw State’s Campus Awareness, Resource & Empowerment (CARE) Services to increase the scope and capacity of the University’s two campus pantries, donating $50,000 for items including double-wide freezers, refrigerator, shelving units and a mobile kiosk, as well as design assistance.
Operated by KSU CARES, the expanded pantries are located in the Carmichael Student Center on the Kennesaw Campus and the Wilson Student Center on the Marietta Campus, and were unveiled during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 26.
“I am honored that Kroger values and supports the work being done by the CARE Services team at Kennesaw State,” said Marcy Stidum, director of KSU's CARE Services. "Kroger’s support grew the two pantries from a closet to a shopping-style pantry to now a one-stop comprehensive service location. With their support, CARE is set to offer a wide variety of foods to all KSU students within each of KSU’s student centers.”
More than 2,000 students have been served with food and supplies since KSU CARES began managing the pantries in September 2014 – and on average, KSU CARES distributes more than 11,000 pounds of food annually. All food and supplies are donated to the pantries and are available to students as long as supplies are continually received.
“Food insecurity among college students is an alarming concern – and one that often goes unnoticed by the general public,” said Felix Turner, manager of corporate affairs for Kroger’s Atlanta Division. “Through Kroger’s involvement with the expansion of the KSU CARES food pantries, we hope to bring greater awareness to this issue.”
According to the #RealCollege survey conducted by Temple University’s Hope Center for College, Community and Justice, rates of food insecurity ranged from 42% to 56% of students at two-year institutions and from 33% to 42% at four-year institutions, with an overall weighted average of 43%.
“Through our bold social impact program, Zero Hunger | Zero Waste, Kroger is on a mission to end hunger in the places we call home,” Turner said. “There is an absurdity that more than 40% of the food produced in the U.S. is uneaten annually, and yet 1 in 8 Americans faces food insecurity every day. During the pandemic that statistic has moved to 1 in 5 Americans – a statistic that includes college students.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, CARE Services programs have assessed or assisted more than 650 student requests for emergency hardship and more than 160 students for housing and/or food insecurity needs. Since resuming in-person shopping earlier this month, more than 60 students have visited the KSU CARES pantries.
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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 43,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.