Blog

RIT FoodShare

You could think of RIT FoodShare as an umbrella.

The name is an umbrella term that covers two entities:

  • a Facebook group which promotes the sharing of food left over at RIT events
  • a food pantry located in the Riverknoll apartments sharing space with OCASA next to the complex’s laundry room

And like a real umbrella, it provides shelter. But in this instance, from food insecurity. And to anyone in the RIT community – students, faculty and staff.  So, it’s a pretty big umbrella. Which is good, because there is a growing need.

According to sources cited by the College and University Food Bank Alliance (a professional organization of campus-based programs focused on alleviating food insecurity, hunger, and poverty among college and university students in the U.S.), “Food insecurity has increasingly become an issue on college and university campuses (Hughes et. al., 2011), and can pose a significant barrier to student success (Johnson, 2011).” Retrieved from http://www.cufba.org/about/

The Facebook group, RIT FoodShare, has 1,600+ members and averages 2-5 posts/day.  Post a picture and description of your leftovers and magic happens.  I used it to alert students to leftovers at a department event. The food disappeared in about 15 minutes. Students were happy. Catering was happy. And I like to think the landfill was happy too.

At the FoodShare Center, located at 113 Riverknoll, any member of the RIT community (with RIT ID) can take up to 5 items/day - no questions asked. Well, a brief bit of demographic data is collected for assessment purposes, but nothing that identifies an individual. The Center is staffed by Resident Advisors (RAs) and administratively overseen by graduate assistant, Ian Gauger. Staff have been trained by FoodLink, our regional food hub. 

If you’ve read this far, I bet you’re wondering “How can I help?” Great!

What’s Needed: 

  • Food, primarily non-perishable items, but if you should have fresh fruit or veggies, give the center a call to see if they could make use of the donation.
  • Protein items are especially needed – canned meat, tuna, nut butters, chili, lentils, beans
  • Cereal, oatmeal, pasta and grains
  • Toiletries, sample sizes, paper towels and toilet paper
  • Coats, hats, scarves and mittens are also requested now that winter is coming.

Where to Bring It:

  • RIT FoodShare Center – 113 Riverknoll (next to laundry room)
  • Student Government Office – Campus Center Room 1710
  • Alumni Relations Office – outside their office in Crossroads
  • The Corner Store – Nathaniel Rochester Hall
  • Any Residence Life Area Office (Kate Gleason, Nathanial Rochester, or Ellingson residence halls)
  • Or, contact Sharon Kompalla-Porter, Associate Director in Residence Life, to arrange a pick-up slkrla@rit.edu

Don’t want to shop or schlep groceries? No problem! Donate directly to RIT FoodShare at Make a Gift.  Your monetary donation gets the FoodShare Center closer to accessing their fund to purchase needed food/supplies – there is a $1000 minimum needed and they are approximately $500 shy of that goal. Let’s get them there by the end of fall term!