News Items from UNC Greensboro

People in line being served Thanksgiving food

As the holiday season approaches and we connect with family and friends, it is important to remember that there are Spartans and community members who struggle with food and housing – and not just during the coldest months of the year. 

Food insecurity is prevalent on college campuses across the country. Recent studies show that around 36% of college students in the U.S. identify as food insecure – an issue that has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Now more than ever, Spartans are in need of community support, and Spartan Open Pantry has been an indispensable resource to the UNC Greensboro community. The pantry is part of UNCG Cares, a program to help support fellow Spartans through the challenges that they may face in their college career. 

To combat food insecurity this holiday season and give back to the UNCG community, Spartan Open Pantry hosted their 12th annual “Meal of Thanksgiving” on Nov. 22. A safe, to-go meal of ham, turkey, roasted squash casserole, and more tasty side dishes was provided to UNCG staff, students, and faculty. Spartans volunteered to prep, cook, and serve the meals, and UNCG Dining provided extra fixings.

Although the meal was to-go for safety reasons due to the pandemic, participants were encouraged to enjoy the meal virtually with one another or in a safe, socially-distant environment with friends or family.

The Meal of Thanksgiving serves as an opportunity to give thanks to the Spartan community for helping fight food insecurity and promote community togetherness – to enjoy a meal with fellow Spartans, especially for those who may not have a safe home to return to for the holidays or the resources for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. 

“It’s our hope that each and every person that joins us knows that they are seen and loved by our Spartan family,” said Director Andrew Mails-Saine. “They belong here, and we are so very thankful for them. We have been overwhelmed by the incredible support from the students, staff, alumni, and faculty at UNCG as well as members of our Greensboro community. We could not give out 1,000 pounds of food a week, hot meals, or clothing without the kindness shown by those in our Spartan family. We help our neighbors when we have so much, and we reach out for help when we have need. That is really what it means to be a part of this Spartan community.” 

Donations to Spartan Open Pantry that help provide food, hot meals, and support to students and staff in need can be made online at wesleyluther.org/give-to-the-sop. Week-to-week need for food donations can be found on Facebook or Instagram

Spartan Open Pantry will continue serving students and staff through the winter break from 5-9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, only closing for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Learn more about Spartan Open Pantry at wesleyluther.org/sop.

One person wearing a face covering scooping yams into a plastic dish

Two people in a kitchen

Person wearing face covering unwrapping a dish of cooked ham

People in line being served Thanksgiving food

People in line being served Thanksgiving food

People in line being served Thanksgiving food

Story by Dana Broadus, University Communications
Photography by Jiyoung Park, University Communications

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