The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday February 9th

Here's how Carolina Cupboard is feeding students amid the pandemic

Carolina Cupboard is located in the basement of Avery Residence Hall and it is available for student access.
Buy Photos Carolina Cupboard is continuing to provide resources for food-insecure students and faculty despite campus closures.

Carolina Cupboard, an on-campus food pantry run by UNC students, is still feeding Chapel Hill community members despite reduced campus operations.

Though the executive board members’ plans for the rest of the semester were cut short by the spread of the pandemic, members said resources will continue to be available for students and staff experiencing food insecurity.

"The Carolina Cupboard remains committed to providing support and resources to our community," Tarah Burnette, staff advisor to Carolina Cupboard, said in an email. "However, due to the circumstance surrounding COVID-19, we are currently operating on reduced hours and limited resources."

Carolina Cupboard  Vice President Dasia Toone, a junior majoring in psychology, said the pantry currently has plenty of nonperishable items available, but donations are always welcome. 

Though the physical location of the food pantry in Avery Residence Hall is now closed, Toone said Burnette has remained on campus to deliver food to students and faculty.

Community members can request food items and Burnette will gather a package from the pantry to deliver to them, President Holden Cox, a senior majoring in exercise and sport science, said. 

“She’s been preparing the bags that the patrons had requested, and either she’s meeting them on campus or she’s meeting them at designated locations,” Cox said. “A lot of times she’s doing this at her own volition because she’s really for Carolina Cupboard and she’s all for combating food insecurity and feeding students.” 

Even though many of the executive board members evacuated campus due to COVID-19, they can continue to be involved in operations and serve patrons remotely. Cox said he and Toone are using social media and email to reach patrons. 

Before the campus officially shut down, Cox said Carolina Cupboard had plans to make care packages for UNC staff members who would be affected by the pandemic.

But Cox said Carolina Cupboard still wants to help out those employees. 

“A lot of times the UNC staff does a lot of the grunt work of Carolina but they’re not necessarily compensated monetarily,” Cox said. “Especially with the University closing — housing, the janitorial staff and dining hall workers — their jobs would be reduced or just cut entirely.” 

Toone, who will serve as president next year, said she is unsure of what operations will look like in the months to come. She said Carolina Cupboard still plans on serving the Chapel Hill community in any way they can.

“If there are students in the UNC community or nearby campus or just anyone that’s UNC affiliated, Carolina Cupboard is still a resource for them,” Cox said. “But we are limited right now.”

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