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The VCU RamPantry: Sustainability project’s mission is to develop a comprehensive system to foster a sustainable food pantry model which will reduce food insecurity among VCU students. Food insecurity can affect anyone, whether they are an on-campus student who has run out of meal swipes or an off-campus student who is facing a financially challenging time. Food insecurity may cause anxiety, depression, poor judgement, and may lead to larger problems related to physical health due to lack of nutrition. All of these factors can negatively impact student retention. A sustainable food pantry can mitigate these risks by providing basic food items to students in need. There is a community need for such a program, but the need for this service is greater than what the current RamPantry structure can support. For this project, our team will present a 3-year proposed plan which will include: seeking to find a more permanent location for the organization; assisting with development of operations and procedural manuals; and creating development strategy to increase donations while bringing this need to the attention of the Richmond community. While there are many VCU students who can benefit from RamPantry, we also have many community members who can contribute in a number of ways including the use of Volunteer Service/Community Service leave and hosting departmental food drives.
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VCU L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs Publications