GMercyU Opens On-Campus Food Pantry
Gwynedd Mercy University celebrated the opening of Catherine’s Cupboard, the new on-campus food pantry on Wednesday, November 16 with a blessing ceremony in Visitation House.
Catherine’s Cupboard has been in creation for the last seven months. Last semester, some members of the GMercyU community met with Campus Minister Lauren DuCharme about the concern that students have asked them for extra cash to buy lunch or any spare food for a meal. This concern kicked off the start of a project that would soon become bigger than anyone expected. Catherine’s Cupboard’s creation story can be explained through the planning, the building, the collections, and the blessing.
The planning began this past June in Chicago, Illinois at Saint Xavier University where Campus Minister Lauren DuCharme and GMercyU students Danielle Rainier, Adrienne Kelly, and Rachel Zobel attended the Campus Ministry Leadership Institute (CMLI). There, they all worked to formulate a proposal for Catherine’s Cupboard. The group then presented their proposal to students from three other schools attending, collecting feedback and any concerns to better implement the plan come fall.
The building started once the plan was officially put in motion. Located in Campus Ministry on GMercyU’s Gwynedd Valley campus, students can enter through the door next to the main entrance. Shelves were installed in the area at the bottom of the stairs and are fully stocked. Along with the shelves of food, students will find both a fridge and freezer with food they can take. Not only are students able to take food, but there will be a list of community resources, a suggestion box for future items, and take away refillable water bottles.
The collections come from various sources both on and off campus. Anyone can donate, both food and money, to Catherine’s Cupboard. Recently, the residence halls held a Pancake dinner. Where students had to donate at least one dollar and, in return, were given unlimited pancakes. It was a successful night and all the money went to keeping Catherine’s Cupboard running in the future. Students also had the chance to donate to the pantry during Griffin Madness where each non-perishable item donated gave them one extra raffle ticket to win an assortment of prizes. Donations do not stop there, however. Anyone can donate online and are welcome to drop off any non-perishables and perishable food items at Visitation House.
Now, we come full circle to the blessing of Catherine’s Cupboard. During the blessing, Lauren DuCharme spoke of Catherine’s Cupboard and all the support saying she is “overwhelmed by the compassion and generosity of the campus community.” The food pantry is now open to both students and staff. If you yourself or someone you know are experiencing food insecurity or are in need of some extra help, reach out via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.