GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB)- “For students to be well-read, they must be well fed" and for some University of Florida students and faculty, hunger is a reality.
On Monday morning, the Hitchcock Field and Fork Pantry at UF opened its doors after expanding space for food donations, campus leaders say it will bring more opportunities to feed students and staff members in need.
"Opening in this new space, with all of these amazing, wonderful donations at this time of year is especially meaningful so we can support people in spending that time together."
With the help of Hitchcock’s Supermarket, the pantry was started in 2015.
"It's a great feeling being able to help others in their time of need. There's nothing more basic than being able to fulfill someone's hunger needs,” Former Hitchcock’s Owner Alan Hitchcock said.
It is always stocked with donations to provide food options like ground beef, canned food, and fresh produce.
"It was really, really comforting to know that there was a resource, like the Hitchcock Field and Fork Pantry there for us. It kind of alleviates the anxiety and stress that one experiences throughout that time,” a UF student Sofie Muench said.
As a part of the expansion, visitors of the pantry will also be able to learn about healthy food choices and cooking techniques.
“Part of our mission of our pantry is to provide a full dietary guideline and the needs that people have not just to be able to eat but to be able to eat and to eat nutritionally,” Field and Fork Program Director Anna Prizzia said.
The expansion project was budgeted at $635,000.