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Groundbreaking

The University of Florida will hold a groundbreaking ceremony today for the Field and Fork Food Pantry. The event will take place at 11 a.m. at Newell Drive, west of the Food Science and Human Nutrition building.

The food pantry will offer members of the UF community healthy, nutritious food free of charge, said Anna Prizzia, campus food systems coordinator. Currently, there are plans to offer fresh produce, non-perishable foods, canned goods and toiletries.

The university will grow food at the UF Community Farm to stock coolers with fresh produce, said Jack Payne, UF’s senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources and leader of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “We’ll offer student-led classes in cooking, nutrition and budgeting so that we don’t just slake hunger but promote self-sufficiency,” he said. The pantry is scheduled to open by mid-July.

The pantry will help stop hunger at the university, Payne said.

“One in 10 University of Florida students reports going hungry at times. Among students from low-income families, the hunger rate is twice that,” Payne said. “The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has recast the starving student cliché as a serious policy issue: Hunger as a barrier to higher education.”

Other land-grant institutions have also opened food pantries, Payne said. The University of Georgia opened a student food pantry in 2011. Louisiana State University opened one in 2013.

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Cutline: Officials with UF and UF/IFAS gather Tuesday, May 5, 2015 outside McCarty Hall to break ground on the new UF Field and Fork Food Pantry.

Credit: Tyler L. Jones, UF/IFAS photography

By: Beverly James, 352-273-3566, beverlymjames@ufl.edu

Source: Anna Prizzia, 352-294-2208, aprizzia@ufl.edu

Original news release online at http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/2015/05/uf-food-bank-breaks-ground-today/

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