A $10,000 grant to Herbert H. Lehman Food Bank from New York City Councilmember Andrew Cohen will ensure hundreds of Lehman College students will be able to continue to be served by the pantry through the summer months, even as the campus remains off-limits to most visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead of receiving bags of food on site, the students will be mailed $50 gift cards so that they may avoid the trip to campus, according to Suzette Ramsundar, associate director of the Office of Campus Life.
“The councilman’s grant was incredibly kind and generous,” Ramsundar said. “We’re using the funds to purchase food cards from Morton Williams to give to students over the summer.”
Cohen, represents the city’s 11th council district, including the Bronx’s Kingsbridge Heights neighborhood where Lehman College is located.
“Hunger should never be a barrier to an equitable education,” Cohen said. “I’m proud to provide this funding to advance Lehman food pantry’s work addressing campus food insecurity, deeply rooted in the school philosophy of fostering economic and social mobility through education. The food pantry has always been an essential resource providing students with a myriad of food assistance services that allow students to focus on their academic studies. I’m grateful this grant will be used to meet an urgent need and ensure students experiencing hardship have access to fresh, healthy food during the summer months.”
The food bank, which was started by student leaders and opened in March 2017, aims to alleviate food hardship among Lehman students. Since the pandemic began, the food bank has seen a 300 percent increase in student requests for its services. While Cohen’s grant will sustain the pantry in the short term, more assistance is needed. To make a donation, and support Lehman students, visit lehman.edu/campaignforlehman.