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LHU’s Haven Cupboard continues to provide food to area students

LHU’s Haven Cupboard continues to provide food to area students

LOCK HAVEN — Lock Haven University’s Haven Cupboard announced that it is staying open to serve current university students in need, who remain in the area while face-to-face classes and activities on campus have been cancelled.

“The Haven Cupboard provides food to students that struggle,” said Amy Downes, assistant director of the Center for Excellence and Inclusion.

“We know that many of our students are still in the area and had jobs in the community or on campus that have been closed due to COVID-19. Making sure students have access to food is extremely important because their ability to earn money right now is significantly limited. Worrying about having enough to eat in the middle of this crisis was something that we wanted to make sure was addressed, so that students are able to focus on the adjustment to learning online and completing this semester successfully,” Dowes added.

The Haven Cupboard is located at the Beth Yehuda Synagogue, 320 W. Church St., across from Lock Haven University’s East Campus Science Center, and will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. every Wednesday for students to pick up non-perishable items. Since its opening last fall, The Haven Cupboard has served almost 250 different students.

The process for students has changed slightly. Haven Cupboard staff is now scanning IDs and pre-bagging food items to limit the amount of contact and exposure to students and staff.

If the weather is nice, food will be distributed outside. If food cannot be distributed outside, there will be a limit of no more than three students inside the Cupboard at one time, to maintain recommendations for social distancing.

Student workers also are required to wear gloves and staff is regularly wiping down surfaces.

Vegetarian and non-vegetarian bags are available for students. Custom bags also are available upon request for students with food allergies or other dietary needs. If students have specific needs, they should email havencupboard@lockhaven.edu prior to their visit, so their bags can be prepared before the students come to pick up their food.

Donations of non-perishable food items can be dropped off between 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the synagogue. Haven Cupboard staff is able to assist with drop offs and are offering curbside pickup during this time for individuals who do not wish to enter the building. Anyone who would like Haven Cupboard staff to come outside to their vehicle should email havencupboard@lockhaven.edu to arrange a time.

For those who wish to give monetary donations, those can be made through the Lock Haven University Foundation. Monetary donations allow cupboard staff to buy specific items that they may be low on.

“Food insecurity among college students is a problem that we know makes learning challenging,” Downes said. “For the students who remain in the Lock Haven area during this crisis, we felt it was essential that we continue to provide this service. … The students who come to The Haven Cupboard have expressed nothing but gratitude. We are remaining open for them. We want to make sure that for our students, food is not a barrier to their learning.”

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