Donations help growth of Women’s Center pantry

Adriona Murphy

During National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the Kent State Women’s Center and Office of Experimental Education and Civic Engagement collected 1,500 pounds of food.

The food will be donated to the pantry located in the Women’s Center.

However, this large donation was not the only amount they received this year. Earlier in the semester, the second and third floor of the library – including the university president’s office, provost, vice President and other executive offices – donated over 900 pounds of food and personal care items.

“I always keep in mind that our goal is to help students, faculty and staff be active, successful members of this Kent State community,” said Cassandra Pegg-Kirby, assistant director of the Women’s Center. “If someone’s hungry, if someone is stressed out … I always think of the Women’s Center as a place where we can help you with those basic things, so you can focus.”

The pantry is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to the non-perishable goods and personal care products available, a fresh food market is available from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. each Thursday.

“We’ve worked it out with Kent Campus Kitchen,” Pegg-Kirby said. “On Thursday morning we go and pick up fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, things like that from them.”

Although traffic to this market has been slow, Pegg-Kirby hopes that it will pick up once the center begins to publicize this option more. The fresh food that is not picked up during the market is donated to the parents in the L.I.F.E. Program, a program that works with single-parent students to provide resources to ensure their success on campus.

In addition to providing food, the Women’s Center also works with Recycle Pots and Pans, a nonprofit in the community to have cookware, silverware, bowls, dishes and cups.

“It’s not just about having the food but it’s also about being able to cook for yourself,” Pegg-Kirby said. “Even if it’s microwaving something, having your favorite bowl to eat out of is important.”

The Women’s Center is currently interested in having volunteers on Wednesdays and Thursdays to organize the pantry and assist guests who are using the pantry.

Adriona Murphy is the education, health and human services reporter, contact her at [email protected].