Fulfilling its vision to view service, the use of time, energy and talents to help others, as the duty and privilege of all, Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University, has opened the Knights’ Cupboard to help battle student food insecurity. Open to all, the Knights’ Pantry provides students with access to food by simply going to the pantry to pick out what they need, without any qualifying.
According to the College and University Food Bank Alliance (CUFA), 30 percent of college students are food insecure. These students experience periods of uncertainty related to where their next meal is coming from, posing a danger to student livelihood.
Through the Knights’ Pantry, Urbana University joins more than 640 schools around the country, from community colleges to Ivy League universities, opening food pantries on campus.
“We are trying to reduce the stigma of needing to ask for help with basic needs such as food,” said Dr. Christopher Washington, Executive Vice President, Urbana University. “Knights’ Cupboard is a manifestation of who we are, a true campus community that looks out for one another when an issue arises that impacts our students’ ability to focus on their education and overall wellness.”
The idea for the panty came out of the realization that a growing number of Urbana University balance class work with internships, athletics, community service, and other scholastic activities that impact when they eat, where they eat, and basic physical and financial access to food. Providing access outside campus meal plans allows students to focus on academics.
Funded through a grant by the Second Harvest Food Bank, with additional donations by Aladdin Food Services, the new pantry offers quick healthy snacks, meals, breakfast bars, and toiletries in a grab and go concept. The pantry is located in the Student Life Office (Blackmer 5), and is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and Wednesday 4 – 6 p.m.
Today’s announcement adds to a growing number of student support initiatives launched at Urbana University aimed at helping students feel prepared and confident, whether in the classroom or in a job interview. Other initiatives include the Clothing Closet which provides donated clothing for students interviewing for internships and permanent jobs.
Urbana University, a branch campus of Franklin University, prepares students for successful and professional careers within a caring and supportive environment. Regionally well known for education and teacher preparation programs, Urbana was founded in 1850 and acquired by Franklin in 2014. Urbana’s 128-acre, residential campus nestled in heart of Ohio provides a background for students actively engaged in campus activities through 20 student-led academic, professional, performing arts, social and service organizations. Blue Knights athletics includes 17 NCAA Division II sports and three intercollegiate club sports. Urbana University is a division of Franklin University, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.