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By Meredith Amor
Director of Communications, Barry University
August 31, 2021, Miami, Florida – As the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates food insecurity across the country and around the world, Barry University is working to support one group that is often disproportionately impacted by the problem: college students.
Barry University hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony August 25, 2021, for the new Barry Community Food Pantry. Dr. Michael Allen, President of Barry University, and sophomore Arianna Fermin did the honors in front of invited members of the University community.
The Food Pantry, run by Barry University Campus Ministry in partnership with Feeding South Florida, is supported by a generous gift from the Al and Jane Nahmad Family Foundation. It will provide free fresh and nutritious food and essential toiletries to Barry University students, faculty, and staff who visit during operating hours.
Though it is difficult to track accurately, studies show that nationwide, anywhere from 30% to 59% of college students experience food insecurity at some point.
“While the pandemic is shining a light on food insecurity, it has long been an overlooked but very serious problem,” Dr. Allen said. “I am grateful to the Nahmad Family Foundation and to all the stakeholders who have worked to make the food pantry a reality in our university community. We want to help ensure our students can focus on their studies and their future success without this difficult burden.”
Arianna lives on campus and said her first visit to the pantry brought her peace of mind. “College is a time when we’re working to become independent, but we also need support,” she said. “Healthy food is usually so much more expensive, and it feels great to know that Barry University is providing this resource for me and all students who may have times we need it. It is free, and perhaps best of all it is judgment-free. Barry has our back, and they have always had our back.”
Clockwise, from left: Dr. Michael Allen, President of Barry University, speaks during the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Sophomore Arianna Fermin and Dr. Michael Allen, President of Barry University, cut the ribbon for the new food pantry. Members of the Barry University community explore the new food pantry after the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Photos Courtesy of the Barry University Office of Communications