STUD-102: Campus Food Pantry Policy

Impact Area: SUNY Morrisville (Morrisville Campus)

Author: Student Affairs

Policy Summary

The goal of the SUNY Morrisville Campus Food Pantry system is to ensure our whole campus community has non-judgmental access to convenient and nutritious foods at four self-serve locations around campus: STUAC basement, Southeast entrance of Crawford Hall, North entrance of Brooks Hall, and the Student Health Center.

The Pantry system is funded through in-kind and cash donations as well as discretionary funds from the SUNY Morrisville Foundation as needed. The program is administered through the Division of Student Affairs.

Since March of 2020, nearly one third of college students have reported experiencing food insecurity. A similar percentage reported that hunger has impacted their ability to study. Some college students report skipping meals in order to pay for tuition, books or supplies (Food Security Among Students). We know that our SUNY Morrisville community is not immune from these challenges.

In 2018 SUNY System created the Food Insecurity Task Force. The SUNY Morrisville Campus Food Pantry system operates in partnership with this task force.

Consideration is given to food safety when collecting donations and stocking the pantries. Individuals stocking the pantries sanitize their hands prior to organizing food. Food donations are checked for expiration dates, dents in cans or damage to product packaging, signs of spoilage or contamination. Food that remains on the shelf past a use-by date or that appears to have been damaged or opened is discarded. Items are stored up off the floor and away from the walls. Items are stored at room temperature in areas that do not get too hot or too cold. Pantries are restocked approximately every two weeks throughout the fall and spring semesters and all existing food is checked at that time. Consideration is given over holiday, spring and summer breaks to ensure stocking meets ongoing campus needs.

Potential refrigerator policy: Thanks to grant funding from SUNY System, the SUNY Morrisville Food Pantry system has refrigerator/freezer space at the STUAC basement pantry location. All safe food handling protocols are observed. Refrigerated items shall be kept between 34 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and frozen items shall be kept at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower to control the growth of microorganism and to prevent food-borne illness. Items stocked in the refrigerator or freezer must be labeled with safe handling, thawing and heating instructions. Donations will be carefully scheduled and monitored to avoid thawing and refreezing or any potential spoilage due to lack of refrigeration prior to stocking. Labeled food storage containers will be used to divide the refrigerator space with fruits and vegetables at the top of the fridge and meat products at the bottom of the fridge to avoid leakage cross contamination. Signage at the location will remind volunteers and clients to not adjust temperature settings and ensure doors are closed tightly. In the case of a prolonged power outage, all food in the refrigerator and freezer will be discarded. All food in the refrigerator and freezer will be visually inspected every week to discard any spoiled items. The refrigerator shelves and handles will be disinfected regularly. Hand sanitizer will be available at the site for individuals accessing the freezer or refrigerator handles.

For individuals interested in donating to the SUNY Morrisville Campus Food Pantry system, please consider the following information:

There is no set minimum or maximum amount of food required to donate, but collaborating with your colleagues is encouraged to maximize your impact.

Whether you shop for new foods or pull from your home cupboards, please make sure all donations are unexpired, unopened in original store packaging and clean.  Any open or expired items will be immediately discarded.  

Please organize the donations into a box or bags for easy transport.

Consider donating vegan and gluten-free options as well. Please avoid food items that are bulky or take lengthy preparation. Only donations of nonperishable items are accepted, unless previous arrangements have been made for refrigerated or frozen items. Unopened full or sample size hygiene products and unopened menstrual supplies are also accepted.

If you are food insecure or want to donate or volunteer, fill out the form.