University of Florida sets up food pantry for needy students



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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Beginning June 29, the University of Florida will have a food pantry available for students and staff in need.

Dean of Students Jen Day Shaw said the pantry will address a need many students face — not being able to afford food.

The Gainesville Sun (http://bit.ly/1ABCKbG) reports a survey of 1,800 students found that 10 percent of students didn't have enough food to the point that it affected their studies. The survey was conducted by faculty at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Department of Family Youth and Community Services.

Jack Payne, senior vice president for Agriculture and Natural Resources, said the percentage is even higher among students from low-income families.

The Field and Fork Food Pantry, which will be located in an old chiller plant behind McCarty Hall and the Nutrition Department, will be accessible to students and staffs by using their university identification card.

Shaw said the pantry will be run by Dean of Students office, and is a university-wide collaboration.

"Our community is very generous with their time and resources, so many student organizations and departments are stepping up to help," Shaw said.

Anna Prizzia, director of the school's Office of Sustainability, says the university's Community Farm will help provide fresh foods and cooking lessons as part of the larger Field and Fork campus food program just getting started.

"We are really trying to help people connect with all resources at UF to maintain a healthy sustainable lifestyle," Prizzia said.

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Information from: The Gainesville (Fla.) Sun, http://www.gainesvillesun.com

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