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Food Lion donates 17,000 meals to Livingstone College food pantry

SALISBURY — According to the Urban Institute, one in seven college students is food-insecure: lacking in reliable access to sufficient quantities of food.

This can have a devastating impact on a student’s ability to achieve academic success. But Livingstone College has offered a solution for two years.

Through a partnership with Food Lion, the Blue Bear Food Pantry offers shelf-stable items for commuter students.

The pantry was restocked by Food Lion Feeds on Friday morning, with Livingstone students helping shelve donated items.

Orlando Lewis, vice president of student affairs at Livingstone, said more than 571 students have been served through the pantry since its inception.

The pantry is also available to on-campus students on a case-by-case basis, with heavier distribution around final exams.

“We know that in order for there to be a significant positive impact upon academics, we want to make sure that (our students) are eating healthy,” said Lewis.

Food Lion provided both food and labor for the restocking effort, donating items including ramen noodles, raisins, cereal bars, jelly, peanut butter, cheese crackers, chicken noodle soup, tuna, cornflakes, fruit cups, applesauce and oatmeal.

“We’re trying to give them things that are nutritious, that aren’t packed with sugar,” said Food Lion spokesman Benny Smith. “These things are going to give them energy and focus in class.”

The donated items were enough to provide more than 17,000 meals.

“We want students to focus on learning and not worry about whether they have enough healthy food to eat. That’s why we are so proud to continue our partnership with these local school food pantries in the towns and cities we serve,” said Emma Inman, director of community relations at Food Lion.

The food pantry is open from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, but a call-in number is provided for those who need assistance outside those hours.

“We chose those hours because we realize a lot of students actually have jobs as well,” said Anthony Brown, director of student activities. “We also have an evening and weekend program.”

Smith said the donation is part of Food Lion’s 24-year partnership with the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The company made similar donations to other association colleges this week: Winston-Salem State University, Johnson C. Smith University and Virginia State University.

To further celebrate the partnership, Food Lion will donate as many as 24,000 meals to local families who live near CIAA campuses. It will donate five meals for any public use of the hashtag #BallinOnHunger on Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

The donated meals will be managed through local food banks, said Smith.

Both Brown and Lewis said the pantry offers another resource for students without food security. They said it offers valuable real-world business experience as volunteer and work-study students manage inventories and track visits.

For this, the pair offered repeated thanks.

“We want to thank Food Lion because they’ve been a really huge supporter through the Food Lion Feeds Initiative,” said Brown. “It has definitely been used a lot this year.”

 

 

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