By: Alyssa Hernandez, Managing Editor
The CARE Resource Center has moved to the Ebert building and is now able to give more resources to community members, faculty, staff, and students. The center provides hygiene products, produce, bakery items, dairy, meat, frozen, nonperishable food items, and a professional clothing closet.
The Care Resource Center was established in 2013 to meet the food insecurity needs of students.
“Community and Civic Engagement (CCE) did a survey in 2013 and found about 85% of students were food insecure. CCE wanted to provide a resource so students would not have to choose between books and food,” Christina Poteet, Director of CCE said.
She says that because the center is in a secluded area on campus, students feel more comfortable using the food pantry. Since the start of the fall 2021semester, approximately 268 people have used the resource center.
The center extended their hours to better serve students after a survey revealed that students wanted the center to offer longer hours. The new hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 11a.m. – 4 p.m. and 1p.m. – 6p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“Last semester we would have students coming right as we were closing trying to get what they need. Of course, we let them in. Staying open longer makes it more convenient for those students,” Jacob Locklear Stewart, Volunteer Coordinator said.
The Resource Center is located at 902 Dogwood Lane. It is available to community members who attend a lifestyle workshop with Pembroke Housing Authority. Community members can visit the CARE center once a month with the voucher they receive. Students can visit twice a month.
“A disadvantage to the move is not a lot of people know where we are at the moment because it’s a little secluded. We were well known in Wellons Hall,” Kiana Myers, Assistant Manager, said.
Poteet also mentioned the area the center’s location is not ideal for those who live in residence halls such as Cypress. If the student does not have transportation, they will have to walk a far distance both to receive and take the items back to their room. They have tried to raise awareness through their various social media platforms. On Instagram and Twitter, their handle is uncp_cce. Their Tik Tok handle is uncp_carerc.
The Care Center receives food from on-campus retail locations: Einstein’s, Café 641 and Starbucks. They pick up from Walmart on Monday and Wednesday. They also take donations. They also pick up from Second Harvest when needed. They do not follow the sell by date on the packing, but rather the extended shelf-life date set by the USDA and FDA. The student workers make sure the food is within these regulations.
The Care Resource Center is competing in the Food Lion Collegiate Hunger Challenge. If the Care Center wins, they would receive $10,000 to support their efforts in fighting food insecurity. The competition includes 13 to 14 other schools in the state.
The center will be hosting a Souper Bowl event to help them compete against the other schools at the October 9 football game, which is during Family Weekend. Anyone who brings two cans of nonperishable food items will get a raffle ticket for a chance to win UNCP clothing and memorabilia at halftime.
The goal is not only to win the Collegiate Hunger Challenge but to also provide the Care center with more donations. Most of the items they provide are derived from donations. The Care Resource Center will sponsor additional events over the next few months as well as next semester.