During the fall 2020 semester, recognizing the possibility of unspoken food insecurities among university students, the Lock Haven University Clearfield campus opened a food pantry to meet the needs of those students.
The project, led by Teri Neeper, LHU Clearfield employee, started small when Neeper began bringing in items from her own home that she did not need. Later named the Clearfield Campus Cupboard (CCC), simply started with the addition of a donor space on campus for those with surplus food and supplies around their home, or with a dollar to spare, to leave basic necessities for others.
As more donations came in, including items from the Clearfield Presbyterian Church food pantry, J.G. Food Warehouse and the Lock Haven campus Haven Cupboard, the pantry was able to expand its operations. In November 2020, the Clearfield Campus Cupboard was formally established with the help of Dr. Amy Downes, interim associate director of student affairs and LHU student, Mia Swales, from LHU’s main campus.
When COVID-19 forced many places of employment to shut down, leaving some students partially, if not completely, unemployed the Clearfield Campus Cupboard food pantry reached out to various organizations for assistance in stocking the shelves with items the students would find helpful.
“We always had plans to collaborate with the Clearfield campus to ensure they had access to the Haven Cupboard program,” Downes said. “COVID-19 sped that process up and we were so happy to go to Clearfield and get it set up.”
With quarantine, isolation and close contact being factors, the CCC was able to communicate with students via email to identify their needs, prepare a box with those items and arrange a pickup time in front of the campus. The students could come when convenient for them and not have close contact with others.
The CCC proved to be successful in providing items to students in need and will continue to do so during future semesters. A needs assessment is planned to help make the cupboard more accessible and bring a bigger launch when in-person courses return in the fall.
Boxes of food supplies can be prepared individually to accommodate student allergies and other dietary needs. Some traditional breakfast items are available, including pancake mix, Pop-Tarts and oatmeal as well as snack and meal items like chips, cookies, peanut butter, soups, spaghetti noodles, tomato sauce, rice, beans, canned tuna and more.
Personal hygiene items not available at the CCC, including deodorant and toothpaste, can be requested from the Haven Cupboard at the Lock Haven campus.
The CCC will remain available to LHU Clearfield students throughout the summer. Students interested in receiving a free box can call 814-765-0559 Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information on Lock Haven University Clearfield, visit www.lockhaven.edu/Clearfield, email clearfieldadmissions@Lockhaven.edu or call 814-768-3405.
LHU Clearfield offers nine undergraduate majors, including bachelor and associate degree programs. LHU is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education, the largest provider of higher education in the commonwealth.
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Lock Haven University’s main campus is located on the West Branch of the Susquehanna River in the scenic mountains of Pennsylvania. The university offers 49 undergraduate majors and certifications with 47 minors and five graduate programs.
LHU is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
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