Pace Magazine

Pace's Food Pantries

Johnni Medina
February 15, 2023
Members of Pace Community pick up groceries at the Mobile Food Pantry on the Pleasantville Campus

Fare Trade launched early in 2022, but food insecurity had not gone unnoticed or unaddressed at Pace before its formation. At both the New York City and Westchester campuses, community-led food pantries have been offering support for years.

On the New York City Campus, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs Denise Santiago and a handful of student volunteers offer twice-monthly pick-ups of grocery boxes, containing up to two weeks of food. Provisions, a Bhandari Jain Family Food Pantry, opened in 2019, and today 250 guests utilize the pantry, many of whom belong to the Pace Active Retirement Community.

According to Santiago, the help Provisions offers has an impact on everyone involved. “It brings a lot of joy,” she says. “And then people send us these wonderful emails, really thanking us. We don’t do it for the thanks, but it just humbles you.”

The Pace Pleasantville Mobile Food Pantry has been feeding the Westchester community since 2018. The pantry itself is the product of an award-winning partnership with the nonprofit Feeding Westchester. Feeding Westchester covers food costs, and Pace staff and students volunteer their time to ensure that the 100 or so people who utilize the pantry once a month can have access to nutritious food.

“It’s not just about feeling good that we’re helping our community members, but also normalizing the conversation around food insecurity."

Heather Novak, director of the Center for Community Action and Research, took over as coordinator for the pantry this year. She is happy to see the community using the pantry, but what she really appreciates are the conversations happening about food insecurity. “We want to be able to look at it from a larger perspective,” she explains. “It’s not just about feeling good that we’re helping our community members, but also normalizing the conversation around food insecurity. So when someone says ‘it’s good we have so many people using the pantry’, the conversation doesn’t end there.”

Launched in Spring 2023, Pace University’s Office of Residential Life has partnered with Feeding Westchester, a nonprofit organization focused on addressing hunger and food insecurity in the local community, to install a permanent free food pantry on campus. Located in the lobby of Elm Hall, the Pace Market provides access to a variety of foods, dry goods, and prepackaged meals. This is in addition to the pre-existing Mobile Markets, which are held monthly.

Get involved through non-perishable food donations. Email Wen Xi in Westchester at or Denise Santiago in NYC for details.

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