Founded in 2012 by UNF students, for UNF students, Lend -A-Wing Pantry is a Student Government Executive Agency designed to combat food insecurity on campus. Through anonymous donations, items include food and hygienic supplies and some school supplies, provided to the student Osprey community at no cost. We strive to create a safe and comfortable environment where students feel welcome, and we are dedicated to selfless service and fighting the stigma of college campus food insecurity.
Lend-A-Wing is open to members of the UNF student community that are experiencing food insecurity. We do not discriminate based on income, class, race, ethnicity, gender, housing status, or ability.
Accessing services like the Pantry does not change your self-worth. You are never taking resources from someone “more deserving” or “more in need” than themselves. We are open to all.
Another initiative of Lend-A-Wing is our Lend-A-Fit!
How much does the pantry cost?
Everything is free thanks to the support of our donors!
What is our purpose?
A person experiences food insecurity when they can’t access food in either the amount or nutritional quality that meets their needs. This could look like:
- Being distracted in class because you had to skip meals
- Avoiding exercising because you didn’t eat enough
- Forgoing fresh vegetables for high sodium nutritionally poor foods due to cost
- Extreme budgeting during lapses in financial aid
Lend-A-Wing Data on Serving Students
- According to 2019 federal food assistant program data, the current product valuation of one pound of donated food is $1.74. Extrapolating that to base it on what each dollar can buy (considering that each student’s dietary needs/desires are different), each dollar will buy about a half (0.5) pound of food.
- For FY21, financial donations totaling over $16,000 have allowed LAW the capacity to buy over 8,300 pounds of food.
- Actual student usage for FY21: 669 student visits were recorded & we’ve been able to note that 4,836 food, hygiene or school supply items were used by students.
National Information and Statistics
- Some learners must choose between paying for tuition or food. According to one university study: 45% of college students surveyed deal with food insecurity, however, this number varies by state and by school. Since critical thinking requires energy, and food provides energy, hunger affects a student's ability to focus. College students might face personal obstacles that prevent them from taking advantage of the food pantries in the area - they might be in class during the times when the pantries are open, might not have the transportation they need to get there, or could simply be ineligible due to their status as a student. Also, unfortunately, many of these learners do not qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
- Statistics indicate that 31% of food-insecure individuals had to choose between paying for food or education. To afford food and tuition, many college students take out additional loans. These accumulate interest, leading to high loan payments after graduation. College food insecurity impacts both individual students and America as a whole. When students cannot focus on their studies due to hunger, their grades suffer and they may end up dropping out. If food insecurity continues, the future workforce could struggle with finding qualified talent.
Community Based Resources
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest federal nutrition assistance program. SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency. Most SNAP eligibility rules apply to all households, but there are some special rules for students attending an institution of higher education.
- Visit https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/students for more information.
- Sulzbacher Center
- The Sulzbacher Center provides comprehensive services for homeless men, women and children. The center’s mission is “To empower homeless and at risk women, children and men through health, housing and income services thereby restoring hope and self-sufficiency.”
- Call the Sulzbacher Center at (904) 359–0457.
- Catholic Charities Food Pantry
- Catholic Charities Jacksonville has served the local community as a compassionate helper, respected leader, and a reliable partner. Our fundamental belief is that we have a responsibility to care for those in need by meeting basic human needs, restoring dignity, and assisting toward self-sufficiency.
- Call Catholic Charities at (904)354-4846
- Clara White Mission
- The mission of the Clara White Mission is to prevent and reduce homelessness thorough advocacy, housing, job training and employment, working in partnership with the community. Our programs are all united in our goal to assist at-risk individuals return to dignity and productivity.
- Call the Clara White Mission at (904)354-4162.
- Drug & Alcohol Support Groups
- Please refer to these other amazing resources available to the Jacksonville community listed below:
- University Police Department
- The UNF Police Department should be contacted if the student’s behavior constitutes an immediate health or safety threat to themselves or others or is in violation of the law. Call the non-emergency line at (904) 620–2800.
- Office of the Dean of Students
- The Office of the Dean of Students serves as consultants for faculty/staff who have concerns about students they teach or with whom they work, provide assistance to students during major personal or family emergencies, and provides access to and coordination of services to help students who lack a fixed residence so that they can remain enrolled and succeed academically.
- Student Accessibility Services (SAS)
- SAS coordinates and ensures services and accommodations for registered students with disabilities as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
- Counseling Center
- The Counseling Center provides mental health services to the university community, including: assessment and referral, individual, group counseling and crisis intervention to currently enrolled UNF students; consultation and outreach services to faculty, staff, parents, and students.
- LGBTQ Center
- The LGBTQ Center (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender) provides valuable education and resources for the entire campus community with a commitment to advocacy, equality, respect, and support for LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff.