Hunter College's Purple Apron Pantry: Providing food security beyond the classroom

Cereal, canned goods, beans, and other foods, line the shelves inside the Purple Apron food pantry at Hunter College. 

Miesha Smith, the director of student life at Hunter College, says they wanted the pantry to feel welcoming, airy, and open to all.

"These college students are paying rent, metro cards, lots of little incidentals that add up," Smith said. 

The pantry is open to all CUNY students regardless of their income level or whether or not they qualify for federal food assistance.


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A 2022 Health CUNY survey found that 40% of CUNY students reported having "low" or "very low" food security.

They restock twice a month through their partners at the food bank of New York.

Students can also get information here about how to sign up for federal benefits like SNAP.

"If you’re struggling, if you’re like, ‘I have $150 before my next paycheck hits,’ come get some rice and beans from here, come get some halal, or kosher meat, just help yourself and not feel like you’re taking away from someone else who is more needy," Smith added. 

Smith says the pantry is open three days a week during summer and every day except Sunday during the school year.