Student food pantry to open

NEW ORLEANS (Nov. 10, 2016) – The Daily Bread Food Pantry for students will officially open Friday, Nov. 18, in Lawless Memorial Chapel, according to Dianna Holliday Woods, administrative assistant of Student Support Services.

The pantry will be open from 2-4 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and available for emergencies via e-mail, she said. Food donations are accepted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays in 159 Dent.

Woods said the idea of a pantry started when a surplus of food items were donated last year during the Thanksgiving basket drive with the goal of addressing food insecurity and nutrition among students. Woods said she joined the Rev. Earnest Salsberry to propose the idea to Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough, who was in full support.

A temporary location in 158 Dent was established and has assisted five students so far this year.

Dr. Kevin Bastian, assistant vice president of Student Success and Support Services, said many students tend to use their funds to pay tuition, books and/or address other necessities instead of purchasing their usual three meals a day.

“This will give them the opportunity to maybe put a few more food items inside of their home,” said Bastian.

Pantry items include peanut butter, or other nut butters; canned fruit in juice, not in light or heavy syrup; canned vegetables, with no- or low-sodium; low-sodium soups; canned tuna in water; canned chicken; nuts, unsalted; canned stews, unsweetened apple sauce; dried fruits, no sugar added; whole-grain cereal, low-sugar cold cereals and chicken, beef and vegetable broths and stock.

Woods said she would eventually like to The Clothes Closet, which provides professional attire to students, and the pantry next to each other. The Clothes Closet, which began in 2012, is in Stern Hall. It has received donations from alumni, local businesses and partnered with Dress for Success, a non-profit organization focused on empowering women to achieve economic independence.  

So far, the panty has received more than 75 donations from the Pre-Alumni Council and members of the Theta Sigma Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Woods said the pantry is working to partner with Second Harvest Food Bank.

The pantry committee includes Yolanda Holland, food services general manager; Rachel Mercadel, administrative assistant; Brittney Richardson, human resources director; Dr. Bernard Singleton, associate professor of biology; and Dr. Eartha Johnson, interim dean of the College of Arts & Humanities.