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Oct 26, 2023

CSCU Receives $133,000 Donation from Stop & Shop for On-Campus School Food Pantries

Donation Will Provide Food and Other Essentials to Students Facing Food Insecurity Across CSCU’s 17 Campuses

Stop & Shop announced a $133,000 donation to the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system to aid in the creation and expansion of on-campus school food pantries. This grant will assist CSCU schools in providing nutritious options and basic necessities to students in need statewide. The pantries are part of The Stop & Shop School Food Pantry Program, a larger initiative that supports nearly 200 in-school pantries from Pre-K through college across five states to help ensure that no student goes to school hungry.

“Many of our neighbors are dealing with food insecurity, and students cannot reach their full potential when they are hungry and don’t know when or where their next meal will come,” said Daniel Wolk, External Communications Manager for Stop & Shop. “The Stop & Shop School Food Pantry Program is proud to donate $133,000 to support CSCU’s campus food pantries, because every student should have access to nutritious food and a fair chance to thrive inside and outside the classroom.”

Stop & Shop’s donation will benefit Connecticut State Colleges and Universities’ students in need by offering them food and other essentials through on-campus school food pantries. From 2019 to 2023, Central Connecticut State University recorded a 130% increase of food insecure students using their campus pantry. According to a 2019 survey administered throughout the CSCU system: 

Because of the high need among students in CSCU, the Stop & Shop School Food Pantry operation will focus on providing nutritious options to students at CSCU’s 17 campuses across the state of Connecticut. Stop & Shop will also aid students with nutrition education and other resources through its Nutrition Partners program, led by Stop & Shop’s team of registered dietitians.  

“In these challenging times, the demand for food assistance has increased across the CSCU system and Stop & Shop’s generous $133,000 donation to our food panties will help address this need and support thousands of students and their families statewide,” said CSCU Chancellor Terrence Cheng. “This important public-private partnership with Stop & Shop addresses the critical issue of food insecurity, a major issue on our campuses and one of the biggest non-academic barriers to student success. We are deeply appreciative of Stop & Shop’s contribution and commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of our students.”

“This community food pantry is named after Maria Alvarez, who worked at our institution for more than 30 years,” said Zulma Toro, President of Central Connecticut State University. “When she passed away in 2015, many students, faculty, and staff mourned the loss of a beloved colleague and friend. Maria was known for her deep commitment to students and to helping the less fortunate at her parish food pantry. To honor her memory, Maria’s colleagues combined those two very noble causes and Maria’s Place was born. This community food pantry offers free food assistance to the Central Family. I can tell you that many students have taken advantage of the services available at Maria’s Place since it opened. Thanks to generous supporters like Stop & Shop, we will be able to offer any student in need the nourishment they need to thrive academically.”

A check donation ceremony was held on October 25, 2023, at Central Connecticut State University’s Maria’s Place on-campus school food pantry, located at 130 Paul Manafort Dr., in New Britain, CT, further solidifying Stop & Shop and Connecticut State Colleges and Universities’ commitment to eradicating food insecurity faced by students.

For more information visit the Stop & Shop School Food Pantry Program Website