The equity and inclusion committee of student government has organized a drive called the Pard Pantry to collect items for students staying on campus over spring break for whom dining options, transportation off campus, and access to resources can be limited. The committee has set up boxes around campus to collect food items as well as personal care products for students who will be on campus over the extended break.
“Our mission for the Pard Pantry was to ensure members of the Lafayette College community, whether because of a tight budget or lack of transportation for getting to a grocery store, receive equitable access to food during breaks they stayed on campus,” Janely Correa ’21, director of the equity and inclusion committee, wrote in an email.
Last semester, Special Assistant to the Vice President Riley Goodshall organized the first Pard Pantry for students over the winter break. This year, student government decided to take over, explained student government president Alisha Ghai ’20.
“They figured student government would have more connections with the student body to actually get the word out and get donations,” Ghai said.
During winter break, dining options become more limited due to the lack of food service workers willing to work during holidays, Ghai explained. During spring break, a similar problem occurs.
“I’ve asked before if it would be better to just keep one dining hall open for more hours instead of having multiple open for fewer,” Ghai said. “But it’s hard to get the specific workers that work at each individual dining hall to come over breaks.”
Student government planned for the Pard Pantry before the decision to extend spring break was made, but now donations may be needed even more, Ghai and Correa explained.
“I have heard that if there is an emergency case where campus has to shut down for coronavirus specifically, [the administration] would make sure that the students here are taken care of with normal dining hours,” Ghai said.
Correa also explained why the equity and inclusion found it necessary to organize the drive.
“As the equity and inclusion committee, our mission is to be the liaison between student government and students on campus that are [part of] an [underrepresented] group, such as international students and people who are not able to go back home for breaks,” Correa said.
In regards to the extension of spring break, Correa said she hopes that Pard Pantry can be as much of a help to students as possible.
“I’m going to encourage students staying over break to come and check out the Pard Pantry even if they don’t think they need anything and maybe they’ll leave with a bag or nothing,” Correa said. “We’re here to support them.”
Donation boxes are located outside of the Student Government office in the basement of Farinon, outside the Office of Intercultural Development on the main floor of Farinon, and near the main entrance of Pardee. Items accepted for donation include unopened containers of perishable and non-perishable food items such as canned goods, granola bars, cereal, pasta, any personal care items, and supplies.