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December 2018


Pantries with personality: Please donate!
Cynthia Eaton


  Matt Pappas and Lorraine Perdomo make donations to food pantry
The FA's $400 in donations to the Ammerman Campus food pantry are sorted by Lorraine Perdomo (right) and Matt Pappas (center), with assistance from student Diego Castillo (left). (photo by Kevin Peterman)

Each pantry seems to have its own personality.

No, really. And this is important for you to know when you're tossing some extra items in your grocery cart to help out students who are experiencing food instability.

The FA donates $400 to each campus food pantry every November. We've long donated to the Grant Campus food pantry, which was established in the 1970s, and when the Ammerman and then Eastern campuses created food pantries, we started filling those each year as well.

Over time it has been become apparent that each campus has its own needs and preferences regarding helping their students. At the Grant Campus, working with Sister Mary Ann Borrello, the FA specifically donates items for Thanksgiving dinner, including turkeys. Sr. Mary Ann has a crew of volunteers who help her create Thanksgiving dinner packages, if you will, for students who otherwise wouldn't have much if any Thanksgiving dinner.

Eastern donations made by Cynthia Eaton, Louise Johnston, Chris Tempera, Christine Miceli and students  
The FA's $400 in donations to the Eastern Campus food pantry were made by a collaboration between the student club Activist Coalition at Eastern and FA members shown in red, from left: Cynthia Eaton, Louise Johnston, Chris Tempera and Christine Miceli. (photo by Jackie Mingoia)

At the Eastern Campus things started out that way as well, but in the past few years there's been a perceptible shift to meet the needs of students who are hungry and need to eat while they're on campus. This makes sense, given that the smallest campus is also the geographically most dispersed, with a service area that stretches from Montauk and Orient all the way west to the William Floyd Parkway. So donations there are balanced between traditional items that students might take home to cook and more ready-to-eat meals that they can consume while on campus.

At the Ammerman Campus, the food pantry donations have been more typical of what you think of when you think of donating to a pantry—non-perishable items that should help those in need make substantial meals for themselves—during the Thanksgiving and holiday season and beyond. Like Eastern, however, the Ammerman pantry has recently discussed stocking more items that are appropriate for on-campus meals as well.

The FA's donations will likely help each pantry get through the first months of the spring 2019 semester, but after that they will need restocking. It's not commonly known that a time of great need for many food pantries is around March. That's when all of the big holiday donations are pretty much distributed and shelves start gathering dust.

To avoid this problem on your campus, please consider donating to your campus food pantry. Here's a list of items generally in need for most pantries as well as the contact info for each campus pantry if you have specific questions.


Items requested   Contact information
  • Peanut butter
  • Jams, jellies, spreadable fruit
  • Cereals
  • Pasta and pasta sauce
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Canned vegetables
  • Applesauce
  • Granola bars
  • Crackers
  • Dried fruit
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Nuts
  • Soups and canned chili



Frank Vino
Babylon 106


Mary Ann Borrello
Captree 110A


Denny Teason
Peconic 122D