Campus + Student Life, Living on Campus

The Clarkson University Pantry: Nourishing Minds, Building Community

We are thrilled to share a behind-the-scenes look at the heart of our campus – a place where nourishment meets compassion, and the Clarkson community thrives: The CU Pantry, our on-campus food pantry. Here, we are not only committed to alleviating hunger but fostering awareness about food insecurity. 

Carly LaBow '25

My name is Carly LaBow ‘25, and I serve as the Impact Coordinator for the CU Pantry. I am from LaFargeville, New York, and attended The Clarkson School last year. I am a current Business Administration major with a double minor in Human Resource Management and Product Development and Marketing.

My name is Johannes Richter ‘27 and I am from Potsdam, New York. I am a current Clarkson School student, and plan to continue at Clarkson in the Fall majoring in Business Administration. I am the former Director of the Potsdam P2 Food Market and now serve as the Student Manager of the CU Pantry.

Johannes Richter '27
Meeting student needs: the history of the CU Pantry 

The concept of establishing an on-campus food pantry emerged to address the issue of food insecurity among fellow Clarkson students as part of the Honors Program Sophomore project during the 2021 academic year. With the collaborative support of the Office of the Dean of Students, Sodexo, the Office of Residence Life, and the Institute for a Sustainable Environment, the CU Pantry found its home in the Quad and operates under the umbrella of the Office of the Dean of Students. Since then, the CU Pantry has relocated into the Dean of Students suite located in Price Hall, 1003. Hours of operations are Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. 

In the Fall of 2023, the Office of the Dean of Students took the initiative to bolster the CU Pantry’s operations by assembling a dedicated student team. Johannes Richter was appointed as the student manager, leading a staff of dedicated student employees in various roles within the pantry. Our team members include Savannah Aalfs as our Marketing Coordinator, Ethan St. Onge as our Inventory Manager, and Carly LaBow as our Impact Coordinator.

Entrance to Clarkson's Price Hall

Over the past two semesters, these hard-working students have devoted substantial effort to the continuous development and enhancement of the CU Pantry. We are thrilled to announce our commitment to introducing new events and programs to the Clarkson campus in the upcoming fall semester of 2024.

Combating food insecurity: the CU Pantry mission

At the CU Pantry, it’s our mission to create a campus environment where no student faces the harsh reality of hunger. 

Beyond providing sustenance, our mission is about creating a haven of hope and support for every student. The CU Pantry helps us ensure that no member of the Clarkson community faces the burden of hunger. Through a multifaceted approach, we aim to empower, educate, and nourish both body and mind. 

Students are truly at the heart of our mission. We work to understand their unique challenges and provide tailored support to ensure their academic success and personal growth. In a constantly evolving landscape, we are committed to adapting our services to meet the changing needs of our community. Innovation and flexibility are integral to achieving our mission. 

Beyond providing physical sustenance, we aim to empower students through nutritional education. By planning informative events and posting recipes and other nutrition tips, we equip students with the knowledge and skills to make informed and healthy dietary choices. 

Clarkson University Food Pantry logo

Additionally,  food insecurity is one of our key objectives in the CU Pantry. We aim to shed light on the prevalence of this issue and its impact on our student body. By exposing the realities of food insecurity, we hope to ignite a collective response that fosters empathy, understanding, and most importantly, tangible solutions. 

The CU Pantry is not just an campus food pantry service; it’s also a community-driven initiative. Our goal is to build a network of support where individuals come together, share resources, and uplift each other during times of need. 

Now an official partner of the Food Bank!

We are thrilled to share the exciting news that we are now an official partner agency of the Food Bank of Central New York! This collaboration marks the beginning of a transformative journey for the CU Pantry, as we will now have regular access to a diverse range of food items through the food bank. This strategic partnership enables us to enhance the consistency, quantity, and variety of products we offer to our Golden Knights.

In the coming month, the CU Pantry is honored to host Karen Belcher, the Executive Director of the Food Bank of Central New York. This event will serve as a platform to showcase the collective efforts of our pantry and unveil our ambitious plans for an inspiring future.

Collaborations on Campus: Java Stop 

Java Stop, a student-run coffee shop, located in the Snell Atrium, has graciously agreed to contribute to our cause by donating surplus baked goods. These delectable treats will find a new purpose at the CU Pantry, in an attempt to eliminate food waste. The collaboration aims to not only address hunger but also uplift spirits through the simple joy of a well-crafted treat. 

Additionally, the CU Pantry and Java Stop will find themselves collaborating again during the month of September. The first of September marks the start of Hunger Action Month. Throughout the month, you will find Java Stop offering a specially crafted drink to help raise awareness. This unique beverage will serve as a symbol of unity, encouraging customers to reflect on the challenges faced by those who experience food insecurity.

Community Collaborations: extending our reach

The CU Pantry is working continuously to expand its outreach and impact. We envision a campus where no student goes hungry, and where the Clarkson Community is united in confronting food insecurity. 

These planned initiatives are our stepping stones toward creating a more sustainable, inclusive, and supportive community: 

SnapEd Partnership: In our effort to empower students with knowledge, in the Fall semester we hope to partner with SnapEd to provide food demonstrations, offering creative and nutritious meal ideas, as well as ways to get creative when on a budget.

PantrySoft Program: To enhance the accessibility of the CU Pantry for our Golden Knights, we are exploring the implementation of an online program known as PantrySoft. This widely utilized platform is employed by various pantries, including those at other universities such as SUNY Canton. Through this program, students will have the capability to place food orders from the CU Pantry through our student portal, enabling them to choose a pickup time that suits their schedule at any given time.

Enlarging our footprint: In line with our commitment to meeting the growing demands of our community, we aspire to relocate the food pantry to a larger, more accessible space in the years to come. This expansion will not only increase our capacity to store and distribute food but also create a more comfortable and welcoming environment for those seeking assistance. We hope the new location will provide students with more convenience when accessing food. 

Our commitment to fostering a supportive environment remains unwavering, and we invite everyone to join us in creating a brighter, more nourished future for all. Together, we can ensure that knowledge and a well-nourished spirit fuel every student’s journey at Clarkson. 

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