Food Pantries Get Makeover
Renovations and Restocking Funded by $125,000 Gift from Food Lion
RALEIGH, N.C. (September 24, 2019) - Wake Tech’s food pantry program for students in need got a reboot today. More than 30 local Food Lion associates and community food bank partners came together to renovate Wake Tech’s five food pantries – and stock them with nutritious food.
Wake Tech’s food pantry program, called “The Nest,” includes pantries on the Scott Northern Wake, Southern Wake, Perry Health Sciences, and RTP campuses. There is also a food pantry at the Beltline Education Center. Food Lion associates installed new shelving in the five pantries and filled them with food for Wake Tech students in need. These makeovers are aimed at expanding the food pantries’ capacity for distributing fresh produce to pantry users. Food Lion also hosted a one-day, pop-up produce market on the Scott Northern Wake campus.
Food Lion also presented Wake Tech with a generous $125,000 gift to expand college efforts to help students and their families combat food insecurity.
“At Wake Tech we believe in reach and rally,” said Wake Tech President Dr. Scott Ralls. “We don’t want our students to worry about being hungry. We want them to focus on their studies. This partnership with Food Lion will allow us to expand our efforts to help students reach their goals.”
Khalid Pickering, Director of Operations, Food Lion in Raleigh, agreed. “We look forward to working with Wake Tech in their mission to eliminate food insecurity. No one should have to choose between food and books.”
This is the fifth time the Food Lion Feeds initiative has conducted “The Great Pantry Makeover”, and the Wake Tech project is just one of five major makeovers that will be included. In addition, Food Lion Feeds will restock 105 food pantries across Food Lion’s 10-state service area.
In a 2016 survey, 41 percent of Wake Tech students reported experiencing food insecurity, and 29 percent said hunger or housing problems were affecting their academic performance. Wake Tech is committed to eliminating barriers to success, and providing assistance with basic needs is one way to do that. Wake Tech students, faculty, and staff, as well as campus clubs and organizations, contribute inventory through food drives and “sponsor a shelf” initiatives. Since The Nest first opened in 2014, it has received 32,397 pounds of non-perishable food donations to date, and more than 2,396 students have received vital food assistance.
Food Lion, headquartered in Salisbury, NC, has donated more than 500 million meals to individuals and families since 2014 and has committed to donate one billion more meals by 2025 as part of its Food Lion Feeds initiative.