A look at New College’s Food Pantry
Entrance to the Food Pantry. (Taken by Naomi Nerlien.)

A look at New College’s Food Pantry

Though Hamilton “Ham” Center has designated operating hours, there is a place on campus where food is available to students at all times. The Food Pantry, located between X and Y dorms, has been active since 2018. Here students have access to a variety of essentials as well as snacks and easy-to-prep meals.  

Thesis student Celeste Kadzis is the current manager of the Food Pantry. She was introduced to the initiative in her second year. “I did an Archaeology project on it as a sophomore. As I learned more about it, I decided I wanted to be a part of it,” Kadzis said. 

New College has partnered with the Food Bank of Manatee and All Faiths Food Bank to supply the pantry. “With the Food Bank of Manatee, we are able to pick things out that come from local grocery stores like Whole Foods or Walmart right after the expiration date or sell by date,” Kadzis explained. “At All Faiths Food Bank, we go online and input stats and are allowed to order things in bulk.”

Kadzis’s job includes a variety of duties. “I conduct Food Pantry runs, temperature checks and count up all the numbers.” Kadzis is also in charge of putting out the food pantry boxes around campus and collecting the donations. “Sometimes we have community volunteers who come and donate their time or items as well, such as alums from the school,” she explained.

First-year Maryannette Alba said, “The Food Pantry is a nice place to go when the Ham isn’t cutting it and Boar’s Head is only cutting my wallet.”

One corner of the Food Pantry stocked with canned vegetables and household products. (Taken by Naomi Nerlien.)

The goal of the Food Pantry is to continue being a resource students can access free of charge at any time. Though the project may later expand into a larger space, no plans have been finalized. 

For two years, the pantry has thrived under Kadzis’s care. But with her graduating at the end of the semester, the Food Pantry will be in need of someone to take over. This person would work closely with the Student Activities and Engagement Office (SAUCE) office to maintain the pantry and ensure it continues running smoothly. 

“This job is low maintenance,” Kadzis told the Catalyst. “It’s only five hours a week. But we are looking for someone who works quickly and is able to make decisions that reflect the population of New College. Someone who is willing to go to the Food Pantry every day and is dedicated to keeping it running.”

As an Anthropology Area of Concentration (AOC) with a secondary focus in Museum Studies, Kadzis spoke about how serving as the Food Pantry manager will help her after graduation. “Though it probably won’t be specific to food pantries, whatever job I do I like helping for a good cause and working with people. I will definitely use these coordinating skills in my future career.”

To gain entry to the Food Pantry, students should get their IDs encoded by Housing Area Coordinator Lily Tanner in the Housing and Residential Life portable across from Sudakoff Center. The New College website has answers to some frequently asked questions and includes a video tour of the pantry. For more information regarding the Food Pantry manager position, please contact Director of Community Outreach Syria Purdom in the SAUCE office.

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