By Austin Boland-Ferguson
Rider’s resource pantry received a generous donation totaling thousands of dollars from a nonprofit program sponsored by a local food market.
Throughout the calendar year, local Whole Foods Market locations stock 5 cents for every customer who uses a reusable bag. Every quarter, each location chooses a nonprofit organization to donate the collection of nickels to help benefit its cause and operations.
For the first half of 2020, the Princeton, New Jersey, location of Whole Foods Market chose the Rider Resource Pantry as its recipient for the Nickels for Nonprofit initiative.
According to a news release from Rider, the donation from Whole Foods Market will go toward operations of the pantry, which includes securing supplies like clothing, toiletries and food to students in need of those resources.
The Rider Resource Pantry first opened in 2018 with the aforementioned goal to secure supplies for food and resource-insecure students. Since then, the Rider Resource Pantry has continually delivered on its goal, even supplying resources to dozens of students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Upon its 2018 opening, Assistant Director of the Student Support Services program Dana Lopes had commented about the importance of securing resources to ensure academic success.
“The Pantry helps provide them with the essentials so they don’t need to worry how they’ll get their next meal or what to do if their winter coat is fraying,” Lopes said in 2018. “They can focus on their studies and finishing their degree.”
Princeton’s Whole Market Foods team leader, Joe Anselmi, reflected Lopes’ original words when he told the university that, “Students will be more successful if they’re not worried about where their next meal is coming from. Our team is proud to provide local students a hand up when it’s needed.”
Outside of Whole Foods Market’s donation, a lot of the Rider Resource Pantry’s funding relies on an annual donation from Gourmet Dining. Since the start of Gourmet Dining’s work with Rider, it has donated $5,000 each year.
Whole Foods Market recently made a shift toward community-based work through the Nickel for Nonprofits program. The national website for the food market noted that their community donations, “will be led by local Team Member networks across the company, who are empowered to address the specific needs within their community.”
The Rider Resource Pantry is located in the Joseph P. Vona Center attached to Daly Dining Hall