Hunger and food insecurity are realities everywhere – even on college campuses. In response, Stony Brook students have stepped up to meet the immediate needs of their peers and the local Long Island community.
Students for Humanity has partnered with the Faculty Student Association (FSA) to organize a Seawolves Food Drive from May 1 through May 18 so students can use their extra Dining Dollars to buy non-perishable food items (cans and plastic, no glass). These items will then be donated to the Stony Brook Food Pantry and Suffolk County Shelters. Donation bins are located at West Side Dining and East Side Dining.
Some suggested items to donate include healthy, non-perishable options such as dried fruit, granola bars, soups, seeds/trail mixes, fruit preserves, peanut butter, instant oatmeal, cereal and nuts. These and other items are available at the West Side Dining convenience store and the East Side Dining emporium.
“We want to empower college students to be able to make a difference. Our main focus is to advocate for the use of dining dollars to buy food for the people that need it most,” said Students for Humanity President Umair Azhar ’19.
By Seawolves for Seawolves
The idea for a food drive started when Umair was in his first semester at Stony Brook. It was the end of the semester and Umair and his friends had some extra meal points (dining dollars). They went to the old Union Deli, bought 50 sandwiches and hopped on the train to the city where they spent the day giving the sandwiches to those in need.
This semester, Students for Humanity contacted FSA Executive Director Nadeem Siddiqui to find a way to partner with FSA and Campus Dining to facilitate a food drive. FSA agreed to assist with promoting the event through digital and print media as well as on the University website and social media channels.
Students for Humanity has partnered with another student group, the Muslim Student Association (MSA), to assist with the pickups and distribution. “This a great initiative to encourage students to put their extra dining dollars toward a great cause. We love working with organizations on campus with humanitarian causes and look forward to working with Students for Humanity on more initiatives in the future,” explained MSA President Mehreen Rahim ’18.
The SBU Food Pantry is located at Gray College, ITS Center, and it provides a reliable and stable food source to those in need. Any member of the campus community is eligible to use the Food Pantry’s services. The SBU Food Pantry is open Tuesdays from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm, Wednesdays from 3 pm to 6 pm and Fridays from 12 pm to 2 pm.