Stop & Shop Donates $10k to New York Institute of Technology Food Pantry
October 15, 2020
Stop & Shop has made a $10,000 in-kind donation to New York Institute of Technology’s new food pantry, in support of students enrolled at the university’s Long Island and New York City campuses.
The New York Tech food pantry, known as the Grizzly Cupboard, opened on October 1 as an inclusive, welcoming, and confidential resource to students offering free, wholesome, and healthy nonperishable food items. Stop & Shop, which has a longstanding history of giving back to the neighborhoods it serves with a focus on fighting hunger, has donated $10,000 in gift cards to New York Tech to purchase food items to stock pantry shelves.
The Grizzly Cupboard is part of the Bear Bytes initiative at New York Tech, which provides students with food as well as health and wellness resources and information. Bear Bytes is a collaborative effort among partners such as Stop & Shop and internal resources including Campus Dining, NYIT School of Management Student Advisory Board, and a committee whose members include nutrition experts from NYIT School of Health Professions, among others.
“We are grateful to Stop & Shop for its partnership and sense of community, as it will require a collaborative effort to help address the societal need and resolve the problem of food insecurity,” said Tiffani Blake, M.S., M.Ed., New York Tech assistant provost for student engagement and development and the driving force behind Bear Bytes. She added that the supermarket company will also provide access to health and wellness products for distribution through the Bear Bytes initiative.
While plans for the Grizzly Cupboard were in development before the COVID-19 pandemic, Blake notes that launching Bear Bytes and the food pantry is more important now than ever. “A healthy lifestyle, including access to food and wellness resources and education in a stigma-free environment, is essential for students to reach their highest personal and academic potential,” she said.
"Stop & Shop is proud to support the efforts of New York Institute of Technology. No student should have to choose between food and an education," said Stefanie Shuman, Community Relations manager for Stop & Shop. “Some college students are worried about where their next meal will come from, and we want to help them to instead be able to focus on learning. This food pantry will allow New York Tech to help students succeed in the classroom.”
Stop & Shop in Greenvale, N.Y., less than one mile from New York Tech’s Long Island campus, is where Blake and her team will purchase food pantry items. New York Tech can reapply for an additional in-kind donation annually, as needed.
Pervasive Food Insecurity
According to a National College and University Basic Needs Insecurity Report conducted in 2019, 45 percent of college students surveyed at 123 institutions reported experiencing food insecurity over 30 days. The study also found a statistically significant relationship with self-reported poor physical health, symptoms of depression, and higher perceived stress. Food insecurity was also found to have an impact on academic performance as students who experience food insecurity report lower completion and credit attainment rates.
To assess the needs of its own students, New York Tech conducted a food insecurity survey last fall. Of the students responding, more than half answered “yes” to having eaten less food than they thought they should have due to not having enough money over the course of a month. In a follow-up question to this group, more than a quarter of students stated that they had eaten less than they thought they should have for more than 10 days in the month prior to taking the survey.
To continue ensuring that students have access to the wholesome and healthy food they need, New York Tech is working to secure additional partnerships, primarily with food banks on Long Island and in New York City.
About New York Institute of Technology
New York Institute of Technology offers 90 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs in more than 50 fields of study, including computer science, data, and cybersecurity; biology and biomedical studies; architecture and design; engineering; health professions and medicine; IT and digital technologies; management; communications and marketing; education and counseling; and energy and sustainability. A nonprofit, independent, private, and nonsectarian institute of higher education, New York Institute of Technology welcomes more than 9,000 students worldwide. The university has campuses in New York City (Manhattan) and Long Island (Old Westbury), New York; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as programs around the world.
New York Institute of Technology embraces its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, give all qualified students access to opportunity, and support research and scholarship that benefit the larger world. More than 107,000 alumni comprise an engaged network of doers, makers, and innovators prepared to change the world, solve 21st-century challenges, and reinvent the future.