Whitney Hall, an assistant store manager at the Food Lion grocery store in Wingate, recently presented a $2,600 check from The Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation to Paw Provisions, Wingate University’s food pantry.
The grant will be used to buy much-needed food items for the pantry over the next year.
Opened in December 2022 after a campuswide poll revealed that more than 30 percent of students had experienced food insecurity, Paw Provisions offers nonperishable and frozen food items, bottled water, sports drinks, donated clothing and linens, hygiene products, and school supplies, all free of charge. The pantry is located in Northeast Residence Hall and is open on Tuesday evenings.
Dr. Mick Reynolds, Wingate’s dean of campus life, says that although the perception exists that student meal plans eliminate food-security issues, that is not always the case. He said that breaks between semesters or during holidays are not typically covered by university meal plans and that many commuter students do not have meal plans.
Dr. Catherine Wright, executive director of the Collaborative for the Common Good, which coordinates the pantry, stressed the importance of partnering with community organizations to meet student needs.
“It really does take a village to keep Paw Provisions stocked,” Wright said. “Thanks to our wonderful partners who want to invest in our students, we can do more together than we ever could on our own.”
Wingate has received two previous grants from The Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation. In 2018, the foundation provided $1,800 for healthy snacks and water, tasting samples, cooking demonstrations and food-sample kits for attendees at the Community Health & Wellness Fair. A 2021 grant of $2,000 provided healthy-food packages for attendees at a series of free community events aimed at educating minority populations about Covid-19 vaccinations.