people working in a food pantry

Berkeley College hosts virtual ribbon cutting ceremony for food pantry at New York City campus

March 1, 2021

The Berkeley College Foundation, in collaboration with the Food Bank for New York City and representatives from other community-based and business organizations, celebrated the opening of the Berkeley College Food Pantry at its New York City campus during a virtual ribbon cutting followed by a virtual tour on February 25, 2021.

“Food insecurity is unfortunately one of the challenges faced by students not only at Berkeley College, but across America,” said Michael J. Smith, President of Berkeley College. “COVID has exacerbated this unfathomable inequity and has imposed additional hardships on every one of our students. As a result of the pandemic, three in five college students are facing food insecurity, according to a study conducted by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice.”

President Smith thanked the Berkeley College Foundation and its donors, the Food Bank for New York City, as well as the guest speakers and attendees for their support of this important initiative to alleviate food insecurity among the college student population.

“Your pantry looks fantastic,” said Amanda Williams, Manager, School & Community Based Initiatives, Food Bank for New York City. “The Food Bank for New York is committed to connecting students to other resources such as SNAP benefits and help with housing and other resources. It is an entry point for everyone to be served, partnering for other resources (like) taxes, and housing, to provide to the students, to get them to thrive.”

Adrian A. Council, Sr., Co-founder & Publisher, The Positive Community magazine, spoke about the endurance and impact among inspiring leaders such as Nelson Mandela. “(Mandela) was in prison for 27 years. (He) fought to end poverty and hunger in the continent of Africa and the world. To overcome poverty is an act of justice,” Council remarked. “Berkeley College and the Food Bank for New York City are coming together to be a positive force for change for our students.”

Jessica Walker, President and CEO, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, noted the hardships that so many New Yorkers have faced over the past year, getting through to the brighter side. “During these times, we’ve seen the best among us stand up, stand out and shine,” said Walker. “Berkeley College is showing a lot of community leadership and foresight in providing tremendous help for students and for New York City.”

Jeunelle Sanabria, Director, Student Development and Campus Life, Berkeley College, served as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the occasion. She was joined by guest speakers who included Kevin L. Luing, Chairman of the Board, and Michael J. Smith, President, both of Berkeley College; Adrian A. Council, Sr., Co-founder & Publisher, The Positive Community magazine; Dipexa Gandhi, Executive Director, Berkeley College Foundation; Amanda Williams, Manager, School & Community Based Initiatives, Food Bank for New York City; Jessica Walker, President & CEO, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce; Ed Dennis, Assistant Vice President, Office of Military and Veteran Affairs, Berkeley College; Coraly Perez, Berkeley College Student Speaker; and Will Moya, Vice President, Campus Operations, Berkeley College.

To donate actual items to the Berkeley College Food Pantry see the Berkeley College Foundation Food Drive page.