CARES kicks off “Pack the Pantry”

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James Bartlett

Outside of Suffolk University’s Stahl Building

The Suffolk University CARES Pantry kicked off its Pack the Pantry Challenge Sept. 27, giving students and faculty a creative and competitive chance to fill the organization’s shelves.

According to Doreen Floyd, director of CARES, 15 teams are currently registered for the challenge, and she said she is looking forward to a “spirited” week.

The Pack the Pantry Challenge is a fun and spirited way for Suffolk faculty and staff, who frequently donate to the Suffolk CARES Pantry, to donate to the Suffolk CARES Pantry and at the same time increase faculty and staff awareness and engagement,” said Floyd.

Throughout the week of the challenge, participants will form teams and compete to “donate items, donate from the Amazon Wish List or donate to Suffolk (givesmart.com), a monetary contribution that goes directly to the Pantry,” said Floyd.

Using a point system, the winners will be chosen on Oct. 7 and will receive a trophy and a spot on the CARES’ Instagram live.

Floyd emphasized CARES’ impact on the Suffolk community, and said its existence and success reflects the values of both the University and its students.

“Suffolk University students are fortunate to have this resource. The Suffolk CARES pantry is also a wonderful testament to the strong level of care and support that exists for students in this community,” she said. “We rely on the generosity of this community and they do not disappoint.  We are especially grateful for the incredible support from Suffolk  alumni whose commitment to helping students make resources like the Suffolk CARES Pantry possible.”

CARES was established in 2018 and has since become a fundamental resource to the Suffolk University community. Floyd said demand has increased by 70% since last year.

The Pantry’s inventory includes food, hygiene products, school supplies and household cleaning items, which Floyd said can make a monumental difference in a student’s life.

“Many are not aware of just how prevalent the issues of food and basic needs insecurity are on college campuses across the country. Having consistent and reliable access to nutritionally sound food that meets one’s dietary, religious and cultural needs is not always possible,” she said.

To access the Pantry’s resources, students are encouraged to fill out a Pantry request form located on the Suffolk CARES Pantry webpage.

Floyd said CARES is looking to the future with optimism, and hopes to implement more resources for students across campus.

“We are putting together a student outreach team who will help to drive awareness  and engagement with the Pantry as part of our efforts to increase awareness and deepen engagement,” Floyd said. The Pantry is also looking to expand its access to fresh produce.

Suffolk CARES is located on the 12th floor of 73 Tremont. More information can be found on the website, or on Instagram @Suffolkcares.