Despite the challenges of COVID-19, an elected official’s generous donation to a Bronx-based college will allow the institution to continue providing food to its students.
On June 17, City Councilman Andrew Cohen announced a $10,000 donation to the Lehman College food pantry.
This donation will ensure that hundreds of Lehman students will be continue to be served by the pantry through the summer months, even as the campus remains off-limits to most visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the college.
“Hunger should never be a barrier to an equitable education,” Cohen said, adding “The food pantry has always been an essential resource providing students with a myriad of food assistance services that allow students to focus on their academic studies.”
Given the current set of circumstances surrounding COVID-19, instead of receiving bags of food on site, the students will be mailed $50 gift cards so that they may avoid the trip to campus, according to Suzette Ramsundar, associate director of the Office of Campus Life.
“The councilman’s grant was incredibly kind and generous,” she said, continuing to add “we’re using the funds to purchase food cards from Morton Williams to give to students over the summer.”
The Lehman College food bank, which was started by student leaders and opened in March 2017, aims to alleviate food hardship among the college’s students.
“I’m proud to provide this funding to advance Lehman food pantry’s work addressing campus food insecurity, deeply rooted in the school philosophy of fostering economic and social mobility through education,” Cohen said, adding that he is “grateful this grant will be used to meet an urgent need and ensure students experiencing hardship have access to fresh, healthy food during the summer months.”
Since the pandemic began, the food bank has seen a 300 percent increase in student requests for its services. While Cohen’s grant will sustain the pantry in the short term, more assistance is needed, the school stated.
To make a donation, and support Lehman students, visit lehman.edu/campaignforlehman.