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Carolina Cupboard faces delays in moving to new space

Sophomore Erin Hoover (left), Senior Emily Milkes (center) and Senior Keagan Trahan work in the Carolina Cupboard in the basement of Avery Residence Hall.

Sophomore Erin Hoover (left), Senior Emily Milkes (center) and Senior Keagan Trahan work in the Carolina Cupboard in the basement of Avery Residence Hall.

Carolina Cupboard, UNC’s on-campus food pantry for students, will be moving to a new location within Avery Residence Hall by the spring semester.

The move was originally scheduled to happen this fall, but the date was pushed back due to renovations for the new space. Even though it puts the organization behind schedule, the delay will allow Carolina Cupboard to enhance their current facilities even more and prevent any future issues.

“It was a very necessary delay, because this gives us a whole entire semester to prepare the space that we’re moving in to make sure that it’s everything that we need it to be,” said senior Shawnna Gladney, the food pantry's director. 

The current pantry is located in the bottom of Avery, and Gladney said the pantry will stay in the dorm but will move down the hall to a larger, more accommodating spot. The new space will include new freezers, shelves and educational artwork encouraging students to make healthy food choices. It will allow Carolina Cupboard to provide perishable food items to students.

Gladney said the prospect of being able to provide perishables was her main reason for pursuing the expansion.

“Ever since I’ve been in leadership over Carolina Cupboard, I’ve been making strides and working towards that goal,” she said.

She said the fact that the organization can now afford perishable items is huge because it allows for a larger food selection for customers. It will increase the physical number of available options as well as the availability of healthy choices.

Senior Jade Chambers-Blair, Carolina Cupboard's public relations coordinator, said she is also excited about the move. She said the new location will be about three times the size of the current facility and will have computers and more space for volunteers and donations.

“We get a pretty good amount of visitors anyway, but we’re hoping the expansion will help introduce some more customers,” she said. 

Chambers-Blair said she has been with Carolina Cupboard for two years now and has appreciated her time with the organization.

“It is a tangible way to help the community,” Chambers-Blair said. “I know there are a lot of organizations you can be involved in where it’s indirect, but when I’m here it’s direct. I am on the ground, getting donations and serving people who may be insecure or who may not have the swipes they need or who are hungry on campus. That’s what I like about it.”

Sarah Wright, a junior and a member of the environmental honors fraternity Epsilon Eta, said it's great that students have found a way to support each other.  

"There is a lot of wealth on this campus and in this community, but there is also a great deal of need, often unseen," Wright said.

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