With new space, Carolina Cupboard expands their pantry
With food, raffles and a ukelele band, Carolina Cupboard leaders and community members gathered around Avery Residence Hall to celebrate the reopening of the pantry on Friday.
Carolina Cupboard is a food pantry that provides students facing food insecurities access to food. The pantry has operated out of Avery since October 2014.
The new space is three times larger, adding refrigerators and freezers to the space. With their new location, Carolina Cupboard is able to provide students with perishable food items.
“When we were first in our smaller space with non-perishable items only, my goal was to include perishable food items into Carolina Cupboard,” said Jashawnna Gladney, co-founder of Carolina Cupboard. “So today is a goal I get to mark off my personal life accomplishment list, but it’s also a milestone for the food pantry as well.”
The partnerships Carolina Cupboard made with other social justice organizations on campus are important in providing perishable food items. Carolina Cupboard's partners include Challah for Hunger, The Sonder Market and Edible Campus UNC. Each organization had a booth and provided information during the re-opening event.
With this expansion, Carolina Cupboard has joined a partnership with Carolina Closet, providing professional clothes to students.
“Moving forward, goals for Carolina Cupboard are to develop strong partnerships,” Gladney said. “Those partnerships are made strong, in my opinion, if whenever organizations hear of Carolina Cupboard they automatically connect us to those organizations.”
Roderick Gladney, co-founder of Carolina Cupboard, and current chair of the organization, said he hopes the pantry can open its focus to accommodate faculty and staff who are also facing food insecurity.
"I think there are more ways for the University to support our staff and faculty than just providing them a job. And this is one of the ways that I hope we could support them," said Gladney.
Kayela Buffaloe, events chair for Carolina Cupboard, grew up in a rural, food-insecure area, and said she is excited to make an impact in the Carolina community.
“To see Cupboard grow, to see the amount of people that we affect daily grow, to see the way we affect them, is exciting,” Buffaloe said.
In addition to providing resources to alleviate need on campus, Carolina Cupboard seeks to educate individuals about food insecurity.
“I think it’s really cool that Carolina Cupboard is a thing here, because I feel like a lot of people don’t talk about food insecurity,” said Samantha Nelson, a junior who attended the event.
Larry Hicks, former director of the Housing and Residential Education, recognized the potential for the program and helped Carolina Cupboard secure their original location. He said the event itself was a reflection of the success of the program.
“What I’d like to see is the word get out even more about this, because I think it’s a good program.”
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