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Food Pantry Celebrates One Year of Community Operations

March 31, 2022

Lasell University food pantry student and full time staff members

In March 2021, Lasell University’s Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL) opened a self-serve food pantry to combat food insecurity on campus. In its first year of operation, the pantry has distributed more than 370 pounds of food to the Lasell community in conjunction with the Newton Food Pantry.

“Food insecurity was one of the immediate impacts of the pandemic,” says CCBL Director Nickki Dawes. “The pantry team and our community collaborators remain focused on being part of the solution to this important issue.”

According to Dawes, student help has been integral to the life of the pantry, which has in turn provided opportunities for them to fulfill leadership roles that advance professional development and academic interests. Shannon Anthony ’22, a psychology major, is currently an intern at the pantry.

“We have seen an increase in usage over the year of the pantry’s existence, which is rewarding in that tells us the resource is being utilized,” says Anthony. “As a psychology major, the knowledge that I have gained about food insecurity is helpful for me in understanding the impact on mental and overall health when I work with clients in the future.”

Lasell's Dry Food Pantry gets restocked by a student employee

Anthony works alongside Gabrielle Emerson ’23, a junior sociology major fulfilling part of their Leadership in Civic Engagement minor.

“It has been so rewarding to see how people on campus have responded to this resource,” Emerson says. “I plan to work at a nonprofit when I graduate and will take with me the lessons I have learned here about community focus and catering programs and resources to constituent needs.”

The entire team is eager for the pantry’s second year of operation to be as successful, if not more, than the first. Part of their plan moving forward is to increase student awareness about the resource.

“As college students, we all struggle in one way or another to make ends meet,” says Anthony. “Having proper nutrition gives us the fuel that we need to be successful in our education, and we cannot achieve our full potential if our bodies lack nourishment. I want every student at Lasell to know that they can utilize this service.”

The Lasell Dry Food Pantry is open to all community members in Spring 2022 on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. The pantry also accepts donations of needed items or monetary contributions to support the initiative. For more information, please contact Dr. Nickki Dawes at ndawes@lasell.edu.