Food Drive to Support CUNY Students
Now that the harvest season is over, Queens Farm continues its work to feed New Yorkers through its annual food drive to support CUNY students. The food drive begins November 9th through December 31, 2020 in partnership with Queens College, Knights Table Food Pantry. Queens Farm is encouraging visitors, neighbors and the general public to stop by the Farm Store and drop off packaged, shelf-stable, healthy food to support CUNY students and their families.
The Covid-19 public health crisis has created even more demand on food pantries around the city. On July 28, 2020, Timothy Hunter, Chairperson of CUNY University Student Senate and Student Trustee of CUNY’s Board of Trustees testified before the New York State Senate on the Impact of Covid-19 on Higher Education. Their testimony noted that according to the Healthy CUNY Survey regarding the impact of Covid-19 on CUNY students, levels of worry about running out of food due to lack of money were more than three times higher in 2020 than in 2018; students also cut or skipped meals due to lack of money at higher rates. Additionally, they noted that students reported having gone hungry often or sometimes more frequently in 2020.According to the testimony, 70% of students reported a decrease in income for other members of their households and 54% reported a decrease in their own income due to the Coronavirus.
Food insecurity is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as having limited access to adequate food due to a lack of money or other resources.
“No one should go hungry. CUNY students represent the future of New York City. Together, Queens Farm and Queens College can feed tummies and feed minds,” said Jennifer Walden Weprin, Executive Director of the Queens County Farm Museum. “This food drive is an extension of our work to help feed New Yorkers. We invite the community to join us to serve those in need this season.”
“On behalf of the entire Queens College community, I would like to express my appreciation for the efforts of Queens Farm Executive Director Jennifer Walden and her staff in support of the college’s Knights Table Food Pantry,” says Queens College President Frank H. Wu. “The services of the pantry — which provides food access for all CUNY students in need, free of stigma — are even more vital now as we continue to adapt to Covid-19-imposed challenges. Our students benefit from both the tangible results of our partnership with the Queens Farm and the cooperative model that it provides — an approach that is needed now more than ever.”
Food donations should be as diverse as the borough of Queens. Queens Farm is collecting packaged, shelf stable, healthy food. Suggestions include canned fish and lean meats, nut butters, soups and stews, whole grain bread, cereal and crackers, dried rice, noodles and pasta, oatmeal, canned or dried beans, sauces and gravy, packaged fruit and vegetables and shelf-stable milk. Note that expired food will not be accepted.
Anyone interested in donating to support the food drive can stop by Queens Farm’s Farm Store during regular operating hours, Monday–Sunday, 10:00 am–3:00 pm, November 9th through December 31st. Queens Farm is closed on Christmas Day and is open until 2:00 pm on December 24th. Daily admission is free and the site is accessible.
About the Queens County Farm Museum
The Queens County Farm Museum is one of the longest continually farmed sites in New York State dating back to 1697. The historic site consists of a 47-acre tract of farmland that showcases the 300-year history of agriculture as a way of life in New York City. The Queens County Farm Museum is a New York City Landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places.
Admission to the grounds at the Queens County Farm Museum is free, except during special admission days as noted on the website. The farm’s livestock, including sheep, goats, hens, alpaca and the steers Jethro and Dexter, are on the grounds all year. Neighborhood parking is available. For more information to plan your visit, go to queensfarm.org or call 718.347.3276.
About the Queens College Knights Table Food Pantry
Established in fall 2018, the Queens College Knights Table Food Pantry is part of the college’s continuing commitment to address food insecurity among its students. With the onset of Covid-19-imposed challenges, the pantry was made accessible to all City University of New York (CUNY) students and their families. Food insecurity, which can be a significant obstacle to achieving academic success, affects individuals and families whose eating patterns are disrupted due to limited availability of fresh, healthy food items or a decline in the amount or variety of food. The Knights Table Food Pantry provides all matriculated CUNY students experiencing food insecurity with access to non-perishable food items for themselves and immediate family members.
The Queens College Knights Table Food pantry operates with the generous support of the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation, Inc. through the efforts of its Executive Director Cass Conrad.