The Tangerine Grove opened last semester before the dawn of the pandemic. The purpose stemmed from an idea to serve students in need, which also came from a mandated order from Gov. Andrew Cuomo that all two-year and four-year institutions must have a pantry available on campus.
Internship Program Director for Nutrition Erin Kelly is the coordinator for the campus’s food pantry. At the moment, Kelly is looking at ways to still serve the campus despite the restrictions brought forth this semester.
“It was opened last year but unfortunately it’s been closed since COVID-19 hit in March,” Kelly said. “The Tangerine Grove helps provide food and feminine hygiene products to anyone in the UC community in need. While we can’t solve long-term problems with hunger, we can assist those who have trouble accessing enough food to get them through the day.”
Kelly said dietetic interns are working on securing an online inventory and ordering system that will help the pantry users order food and supplies they need.
“Since social distancing is difficult in the room housing the pantry, after students place an order they will pick it up at a predetermined time,” Kelly said. “We are hopeful to have the system up and running this semester. Once it’s up and running, we will advertise through several campus outlets to make sure people know about the system going on.”
Another health-centered organization available to students is the Nutrition Club. The club aims to spread positive nutrition-related information on campus. Senior Kayla Wrate is the club president and has a lot of plans to keep the club going both in person and online.
“We plan on fundraising for an online ordering system for the food pantry due to COVID-19 precautions,” Wrate said. “We have been having some meetings that involve bonding between the members such as Netflix watch parties, Kahoots, games and discussions on nutrition-related topics.”
The club is also spreading awareness on it social media platforms in order to keep the UC community up to date with nutrition information.
“In upcoming semesters we are excited to start nutrition-related events such as food demos, a ‘chopped’ event like the TV show and also working with Sodexo chefs to have special meals served,” Wrate said.
Wrate encourages all students who are interested in the nutrition program to get involved with nutrition club, the food pantry or food recovery network. Students who are interested in the club can email her at [email protected] for additional information.
“These are great organizations to boost your knowledge and work with nutrition,” Wrate said. “For anyone interested in nutrition club we have students from all majors. We love getting new members and are open to anyone joining.”
Senior Troy Thomas said being a Nutrition Club member is a useful way of realizing how nutrition plays a vital role in every person’s life.
“The club enables students to participate in discussions about current research and news about nutrition and nutrition-related health issues,” Thomas said. “Since there is so much misinformation in the news regarding what is healthy and unhealthy, there’s no doubt that individuals who are not actively studying nutrition are confused about what to eat or drink for better health.”